Skip to main content

Full text of "Nil darpan, or, The indigo planting mirror : a drama"

See other formats


lifornia 

onal 

ity 



NIL DARPAN; 



THE INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR, 



JUrama. 



TRANSLATED FROM THE BENGALI 



A NATIVE. 



CAL CUTTA : 

C. H. MANUEL, CALCUTTA PRINTING AND PUBLISHING PRESS, No. 10, 
WESTOX'S LANE, COSSITOLLAH* 



1861. 



Tukcik 



S fa 



2* rt 



-,.. 







NIL DARPAN, 



THE INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR, 



Brama, 



TRANSLATED FROM THE BENGALI 



A NATIVE. 



CAL CUTTA .- 

C. H. MANUEL, CALCUTTA PRINTING AND PUBLISHING PRESS, No. 10, 
WESTON'S LANE, COSSITOLLAJI. 



1861. 



INTBODUCTION. 



THE original Bengali of this Drama the NIL DARPAN, OR 
INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR having excited considerable in- 
terest, a wish was expressed by various Europeans to see a 
translation of it. This has been madefy a Native ; both the 
original and translation are bond fide Native productions and 
depiclthe Indigo Plan ting System as viewed by Natives at large. 

The Drama is the favourite mode with the Hindus for 
describing certain states of society, manners, customs. Since 
the days of Sir W. Jones, by scholars at Paris, St. Peters- 
burgh, and London, the Sanskrit Drama has, in this point of 
view, been highly appreciated. The Bengali Prama imitates 
in this respect its Sanskrit parent. The evils of Kulin 
Brahminism, widow marriage prohibition, quackery, fanaticism, 
have been depicted by it with great effect. 

Nor has the system of Indigo planting escaped 
notice : hence the origin of this work, the NIL DARPANT, 
which, though exhibiting no marvellous or very tragic 
scenes, yet, in simple homely language, gives the " annals 
of the poor ;" pleads the cause of those who are the 
feeble ; it describes a respectable ryot, a peasant proprietor, 
happy with his family in the enjoyment of his land till the 
Indigo System compelled him to take advances, to neglect his 
own land, to cultivate crops which beggared him, reducing him 
to the condition of a serf and a vagabond ; the effect of this 
on his home, children, and relatives are pointed out in language, 
plain but true ; it shows how arbitrary power debases the lord 
as well as the peasant ; reference is also made to the partiality 
of various Magistrates in favor of Planters and to the Act of 
last year penally enforcing Indigo contracts. 



2021470 



Attention has of late years been directed by Christian 
Philanthropists to the condition of the ryots of Bengal, their 
teachers, and the oppression which they suffer, and the con- 
clusion arrived at is, that therels little prospect or possibility 
of ameliorating the mental, moral, or spiritual condition of the 
ryot without giving him security of landed-tenure. If the 
Bengal ryot is to be treated as a serf, or a mere squatter or 
day-labourer, the missionary, the school-master, even the 
Developer of the resources of India, will find their work like 
that of Sisyphus vain and useless. 

Statistics have proved that in France, Switzerland, Hg"land, 
Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Saxony, the education of the 
peasant, along with the security of tenure he enjoys on his 
small farms, has encouraged industrious, temperate, virtuous, 
and cleanly habits, fostered a respect for property, increased 
social comforts, cherished a spirit of healthy and active 
independence, improved the cultivation of the land, lessened 
pauperism, and has rendered the people averse to revolu- 
tion, and friends of order. Even Russia is carrying out a 
grand scheme of serf-emancipation in this spirit. 

It is the earnest wish of the writer of these lines that 
harmony may be speedily established Jbetween the Planter 
and the Ryot, that mutual interests may bind the two 
classes together, and that the European may be in the 
Mofussil the protecting ^Egis of the peasants, who may be 
able " to sit eaph man under his mango and tamarind tree, 
none daring to make him afraid/' 



THE AUTHOK'S PEEFACE. 



I PRESENT " The Indigo Planting Mirror " to the Indigo 
Planters' hands ; now, let every one of them, having ob- 
served his face, erase the freckle of the stain of selfishness 
from his forehead, and, in its stead, place on it the sandal 
powder of beneficence, then shall I think my labour success- 
ful, Jfcod fortune for the helpless class of ryots, and preser- 
vation of England's honor. Oh, ye Indigo Planters ! Your 
malevolent conduct has brought a stain upon the English 
Nation, which was so graced by the ever-memorable names of 
Sydney, Howard, Hall, and other great men. Is your desire 
for money so very powerful, that through the instigation 
of that vain wealth, you are engaged in making holes like 
rust in the long acquired and pure fame of the British 
people ? Abstain now from that unjust conduct through 
which you are raising immense sums as your profits ; and 
then the poor people, with their families, will be able to spend 
their days in ease. You are now-a-days purchasing things 
worth a hundred rupees by expending only ten ; and you 
well know what great trouble the ryots are suffering from that. 
Still you are not willing to make that known, being entirely 
given up to the acquisition of money. You say, that some 
amongst you give donations to schools, and also medicine in time 
of need but the Planters' donations to schools are more odious 
than the application of the shoe for the destruction of a milch 
cow, and their grants of medicine are like unto mixing the in- 
spissated milk in the cup of poison. If the application of a little 
turpentine after being beat by Shamchaud,* be forming a dis- 



* Shamchand is an instrument made of leather, used by the Planters 
for beating the ryots. 

B 



( 2 ) 

pensary, then it may be said that in every factory there is a 
dispensary. The Editors of two daily newspapers are filling 
their columns with your praises ; and whatever other people may 
think, you never enjoy pleasure from it, since you know fully the 
reason of their so doing. What a surprising power of attraction 
silver has ? The detestable Judas gave the great Preacher of 
the Christian religion, Jesus, into the hands of odious Pilate 
for the sake of thirty rupees; what wonder then, if the pro- 
prietors of two newspapers, becoming enslaved by the hope of 
gaining one thousand rupees, throw the poor helpless people of 
this land into the terrible grasp of your mouths. But misery 
and happiness revolve like a wheel, and that the sun of fcappi- 
ness is about to shed his light on the people of this country, 
is becoming veiy probable. The most kind-hearted Queen Vic- 
toria, the mother of the people, thinking it unadvisable to suckle 
her children through maid-servants, has now taken them on 
her own lap to nourish them. The most learned, intelligent, 
brave, and open-hearted Lord Canning is now the Governor- 
General of India ; Mr. Grant, who always suffers in the suf- 
ferings of his people, and is happy when they are happy, who 
punishes the wicked and supports the good, has taken charge of 
the Lieutenant-Governorship, and other persons, as Messrs. Eden, 
Herschel, etc., who are. all well-known for their love of truth, for 
their great experience and strict impartiality, are continually ex- 
panding themselves lotus-like on the surface of the lake of the 
Civil Service. Therefore, it is becoming fully evident that these 
great men will very soon take hold of the rod of justice in order 
to stop the sufferings which the ryots are enduring from the 
great giant Baku, the Indigo Planter. 



PERSONS OF THE DRAMA. 



GOLUK CHUNDER BASU. 

NOBIN MADHAB 7 , , 

_ >8ons of Goluk Chunder. 

BINDU MADHAB 3 

SADHU CHURN A neighbouring Ryot 
RAY CHURN Sadhu'a brother. 
Gqji CHURN DAS The Dewan. 

J. J. WOOD ) T 7 . D7 

} Indiqo Planters. 
P. P. ROSE J 

THE AJVIIN OR LAND MEASURER. 

A KHALASI, a Tent-pitcher. 

TAIDGIR Native Superintendent of Indigo Cultivation. 

Magistrate, Amla, Attorney, Deputy Inspector, Pundit, 
Keeper of the Gaol, Doctor, a Cow-keeper, a Native Doctor, 
Four Boys, a Latyal or Club-man, and a Herdsman. 

WOMEN. 

SABITRI Wife of Goluk Chunder. 

SOIRINDRI Wife of Nobin. 

SARALOTA Wife of Bindu Madhab. 

REBOTI Wife of Sadhu Churn. 

KHETROMANI Daughter of Sadhu. 

ADURI Maid-servant in Goluk Chunder 's house. 

PODI MOYRANI A Sweetmeat Maker. 



FIRST ACT FIKST SCENE. 

SVAROPUR GOLUK CHUNDER's GOLA OR STORE-HOUSE. 



GOLUK CHUNDER BASU and SADHU CHURN sitting. 

Sadhu. Master I told you then we cannot live any more 
in this country. You did not hear me however. A poor 
man's ivord bears fruit after the lapse of years. 

Goluk. O my child ! Is it easy to leave one's country ? 
My family has been here for seven ^nerations. The lands 
Avhich our fore-fathers rented have enabled us never to acknow- 
led<p ourselves servants of others. The rice which grows, 
provides food for the whole year, means of hospitality to guests, 
and also the expense of religious services ; the mustard seed 
we get, supplies oil for the whole year, and, besides, we can sell 
it for about sixty or seventy rupees. Svaropur is not a place 
where people are in want. It has rice, peas, oil, molasses 
from its fields, vegetables in the garden, and fish from 
the tanks ; whose heart is not torn when obliged to leave 
such a place ? And who can do that easily ? 

Sadku. Now it is no more a place of happiness : your garden 
is already gone, and your relatives are on the point of forsaking 
you. Ah ! it is not yet three years since the Saheb took a lease 
of this place, and he has already ruined the whole village. We 
cannot bear to turn our eyes in the southern direction towards 
the house of the heads of the villages (Mandal). Oh ! what was 
it once, and what is it now ! Three years ago, about sixty men 
used to make a daily feast in the house ; there were ten ploughs, 
and about forty or fifty oxen ; as to the court-yard, it was 
crowded like as at the horse races ; when they used to 
arrange the ricks of corn, it appeared, as it were, that the 
lotus had expanded itself on the surface of a lake bordered 
by sandal groves ; the granary was as large as a hill ; but 
last year the granary not being repaired, was on the point of 



6 NIL DARPAN, OR 

falling into the yard. Because he was not allowed to plant 
Indigo in the rice-field, the wicked Saheb beat the Ma jo and 
Sajo Babus most severely ; and how very difficult was it to 
get them out of his clutches ; the ploughs and kine were sold, 
and at that crisis the two Mandals left the village. 

Goluk. Did not the eldest Mandal go to bring his brethren 
back? 

Sadhu. They said, we would rather beg from door 
to door than go to live there again. The eldest Mandal is 
now left alone, and he !ias kept two ploughs, which are nearly 
always engaged in the Indigo-fields. And even this per- 
son is making preparations for flying off Oh, Sir ! IT tell 
you also to throw aside this infatuated attachment (mayo) 
for your native place. Last time your rice went, and this 
time, your honour will go. 

Goluk. What honor remains to us now ? The Planter 
has prepared his places of cultivation round about the 
tank, and will plant Indigo there this year. In that case, our 
women will be entirely excluded from the tank. And also 
the Saheb has said that if we do not cultivate our rice-fields 
with Indigo, he will make Nobin Madhab to drink the 
water of seven Factories (i.-e. to be confined in them). 

Sadhu. Has not the eldest Babu gone to the Factory ? 

Goluk. Has he gone of his own will? The pyeadah 
(a servant) has carried him off there. 

Sadhu. But your eldest Babu has very great courage. 
On the day the Saheb said, " If you don't hear the Amin, and 
don't plant the Indigo within the ground marked off, then shall 
we throw your houses into the river Betraboti, and shall 
make you eat your rice in the factory godown ;" the 
eldest Babu replied, "As long as we shall not get the price 
for the fifty bigahs of land sown with Indigo last year, we 
will not give one bigah this year for Indigo. What do we 
care for our house ? We shall even risk (pawn) our lives." 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 7 

Goluk. What could he have done, without he said that ? 
Just see, no anxiety would have remained in our family if the 
fifty bigahs of rice produce had been left with us. And if 
they give us the money for the Indigo, the greater part of our 
troubles will go away. 

NOBIN MADHAB enters. 

O my son, what has been done ? 

Nobin. Sir, does the cobra shrink* from biting the little 
child on the lap of its mother on account of the sorrow of the 
mo&er ? I flattered him much, but he understood nothing 
by that. He kept to his word, and said, give us sixty 
bigahs of land, secured by written documents, and take 50 
Rupees, then we shall close the two years' account at once. 

Goluk. Then, if we are to give sixty bigahs for the culti- 
vation of the Indigo, we cannot engage in any other culti- 
vation whafever. Then we shall die without rice crops. 

Nobin. I said, " Saheb, as you engage all your men, our 
ploughs, and our kine, every thing, in the Indigo field, only 
give us every year through our food. We don't want hire." 
On which, he with a laugh said, "You surely don't eat 
Yaban's* rice." 

Sadhu. Those whose only pay is a belly full of food are, 
I think, happier than we are. 

Goluk. We have nearly abandoned all the ploughs ; still 
we have to cultivate Indigo. We have no chance in a 
dispute with the Sahebs. They bind . and beat us, it 
is for us to suffer. We are consequently obliged to work. 

Nobin. I shall dp as you order, Sir ; but my design is 
for once to bring an action into Court. 



* The Mahomedans and all other nations who are not Hindus, are called 
by that name. 



8 NIL DARPAN, OR 

ADURI enters. 

Aduri. Our Mistress is making noise within ; the day is 
far advanced ; will you not go to bathe, and take your 
food. The boiled rice is very near become dry. 

Sadhu. (Standing up.) Sir, decide something about 
this, or I shall die. If we give the labour of one-and-a-half of 
our ploughs for the cultivation of nine bigahs of Indigo-fields, 
our boiling pots of rice will go empty. Now, I am going 
away, Sir, farewell, oui eldest Babu. 

(Sadhu goes away.) 

Goluh We don't think that God will any more allow us 
to bathe and to take food in this land. Now, my son, go 
and bathe. 

(A II go away.) 



FIKST ACT SECOND SCENE. 

THE HOUSE OF SADHU CHURN. 



KAY CHURN enters with his plough. 

Ray. (Holding his plough.) The stupid Amin is a tiger. 
The violence with which he came upon me ! Oh my God ! I 
thought that he was coming to devour me. That villain did 
not hear a single word and with force he marked off the 
ground. If they take five bigahs of land, what will my 
family eat. First, we will shed tears before them ; if they 
don't let us alone, as a matter of course, we shall leave the 
country. 

KHETROMANI enters. 

Is my brother come home ? 

Khetra. Father is gone to the house of the Babu's and is 
coming very soon. Will you not go to call my aunt ? 
What were you talking about ? 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 9 

llay. I am talking of nothing. Now, bring me a little 
water, my stomach is on the point of bursting from thirst. 
I told my brother-in-law* so much, but he did not 
hear me. 

SADHU enters, and KHETROMANI goes away. 

Sadhu. Ray, why did you come so early ? 

Ray. O my brother, the vile Amin has marked off the piece 
of ground in Sanpoltola. What shall we eat ; and how 
shall I pass the year ? Ah, our land was bright as the golden 
chamjj>ah.-f* By the produce of only one corner of the field, 
we satisfied the mahajans. What shall we eat now, and 
what shall our children take ? This large family may die 
without food. Every morning two recas (nearly 5 fts) of 
rice are necessary. What shall we eat then ? Oh, my Ill-for- 
tune ! Ill-fortune (burnt forehead ) ! what has the Indigo of 
this white man done ? 

Sadhu. We were living in the hope of cultivating those 
bigahs of land ; and now, if these are gone, then what use is 
there of remaining here any more. And the one or two bigahs 
which are become saltish, they yield no produce. Again, the 
ploughs are to remain in the Indigo-field ; and what can we 
do. Don't weep now ; to-morrow we shall sell off the ploughs 
and cows, leave this village, and go and live in the Zemin- 
dary of Babu Basanta. 

KHETROMANI and REBOTI enter with water. 

Now, drink the water, drink the water ; what do you fear ? 
He who has given life, will provide also food. Now, what did 
you say to the Amin ? 

Ray. What can I say ? He began to mark off the ground, 
on which it seemed as if he began to thrust burnt sticks 

* Here the word is used sarcastically ; and is taken to mean the brother 
of the wife. 

t The name of a beautiful yellow flower. 



10 NIL DARPAN, OR 

into my breast, I entreated, holding him by his feet, and 
wanted to give him money ; but he heard nothing. He said, 
go to your eldest Babu ; go to your father. When I returned, 
I only punished him with saying, " I shall bring this before 
the Court/' 

(Seeing the Amin at a distance.) 

Just see, that villain (Shdld) is coming; he has brought 
servants with him, and will take us to the Factory. 

The AMIN and the two Servants enter. 
Amin. Bind the hands of this villain. k 

(Ray Churn is bound by the two Servants.) 

Reboti. Oh ! What is this ? Why do they bind him ? 
What ruin ! What ruin ! (to Sadhu) Why do you stand 
looking on ? Go to the house of the Babus, and call the eldest 
Babu here. 

Amin. (To Sadhu.} Where shalt thou go now ? You are 
also to go with me. To take advances is not the business of 
Ray. We shall have much to bear with if we are to make 
signature by cross marks. And because you know how to read 
and to write, therefore you must go and make the signatures 
in the Factory Account-book. 

Sadhu. Sir, do you call this giving advances for Indigo ; 
would it not be better to call it the cramming down Indigo ?* 
Oh ! my Ill-fortune, you are still with me. That very blow 
through fear of which I fled, I have to bear again. This land 
was as the Kingdom of Rama before Indigo was established ; 
but the ignorant fool is become a beggar, and famine has 
come upon the land. 

Amin. (To himself, observing Khetromani^) This 
young woman is not bad-looking; if our younger Saheb 
can get her, he will, with his whole heart, take her. But 

* There is a play here on the words Dddan and Gddan. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 11 

white I was unable to succeed in getting a peshkar's (over- 
seer's) post by giving him my own sister, what can I expect 
from getting him this woman ; but still she is very beautiful ; 
I will try. 

Reboti. Khetra, go into the room. 

(Khetromani goes away.) 

Amin. Now, Sadhu, if you want to come in a proper 
manner, come with me to the Factory. 

(Going forward.) 

Reboti. Oh Amin ! have you no wKe nor children ? Have 
you kept only the plough, and this beating (mdrpit) ? Did 
he no% want to drink a little water ? By this time he ought to 
take a second meal, how can he then, without taking any food, 
go to the Saheb's house which is at such a distance. I ask 
for the Saheb's grace ; just let him have some food ; and then 
take him away. Oh ! he is so very much troubled for his wife 
and his children. Oh ! he is shedding tears, his face is be- 
come dry. What are you doing ? To what a burnt-up land 
am I come ? Destruction has come upon me both in life and 
money. Oh ! Oh ! Oh ! I am gone both in life and money. 
(Weeps.) 

Amin. Oh, stupid woman ! Now stop your grunting. 
If you want to give water, bring it soon ; else I shall take 
him away. (Ray Churn drinks water ; exit all.) 



EIEST ACT THIKD SCENE. 

THE FACTORY OF BEGUNBARI. THE VERANDA OF THE 
LARGE BUNGALOW. 



Enter J. J. WOOD and GOPI CHURN DAS, the Dewan. 

Oopi. What fault have I done, my Lord ? You are 
observing me day by day. I begin to move about early in the 
morning, and return home at three o'Clock in the afternoon. 



12 NIL DARPAN, OR 

Again, immediately after taking dinner, I sit down to look over 
papers about Indigo advances ; and that takes my time to 
twelve and sometimes to one o'Clock in the night. 

Wood. You, rascal, are very inexperienced. There are no 
advances made in Svaropur, Shamanagar, and Santighata 
villages. You will never learn without Shamchand, (the 
leather strap). 

Gopi. My Lord I am your servant. It is through favour 
only that you have raised me from the peshkdri business to 
the Dewani. You are my only Lord, you can either kill 
me or can cut me in pieces. Certain powerful enemies have 
arisen against this Factory ; and without their punish- 
ment, there is no cultivation of Indigo. 

Wood. How can I punish without knowing them ? As 
for money, horses, latyals (club-men), I have a sufficiency ; 
can they not be punished by these ? The former Dewan made 
known to me about those enemies. You do not. I have 
scourged those wicked people, taken away their kine, and 
kept their wives in confinement, which is a very severe 
punishment for them. You are a very great fool ; you know 
nothing at all. The business of the Dewan is not that of the 
Kayt caste ; I shall drive you off, and give the business to a 
Keaot. 

Gopi. My Lord, although I am by caste a Kaystha, I do 
my work like a Keaot (a shoe-maker). The service which I 
have rendered in stopping the rice cultivation and making 
the Indigo to grow in the field of the Mollahs, and also to take 
(Idkhraj) his rent-free lands of seven generations from 
Goluk Chunder Bose, and to take away the iron crow* from 
the Government ; the work I have done for these, I can dare 
say, can never be done by a Keaot (a shoemaker). It is my 



* An instrument made use of for breaking down buildings. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 13 

ill-fortune only (evil forehead) that I don't get the least praise 
for doing so much. 

Wood. That fool, Nobin Madhab, wants the whole account 
settled. I shall not give him a single cowrie. That fellow 
is very well versed in the affairs of the Court ; but I shall 
see, how that braggart takes the advances from me. 

Gopi. Sir, he is one of the principal enemies of this 
Factory. The burning down of Polasapore would never have 
been proved, had Nobin no concern in the matter. That 
fool himself prepared the draft of* the petition ; and it 
was through his advice and intrigues that the Attorney 
so rarned the mind of the Judge. Again, it was through 
his intrigues that our former Dewan was confined for two 
years. I forbade him, saying, " Babu Nobin, don't act against 
our Saheb ; and, especially as he has not burnt your house." 
To which he replied, " I have enlisted myself in order to save 
the poor ryots. I shall think myself highly rewarded, if I can 
preserve one poor ryot from the tortures of the cruel Indigo 
Planters ; and throwing this Dewan into prison, I shall have 
compensation for my garden." That braggart is become 
like a Christian Missionary ; and I cannot say what prepa- 
rations he is making this time. 

Wood. You are afraid. Did I not tell you at first, you 
are very ignorant ? No work is to be done through you. 

Gopi. Saheb, what signs of fear hast thou seen in 
me ? When I have entered on this Indigo profession, I have 
thrown off all fear, shame, and honor ; and the destroying 
of cows, of Brahmins, of women, and the burning down of 
houses are become my ornaments, and I now lie down in bed 
keeping the jail as my pillow (thinking of it}. 

Wood. I do not want words, but works. 
SADHU RAY, the AMIN, and the two Servants enter, making 

salams. 
Why are this wicked fool's hands bound with cords? 



14 NIL DARPAN, OR 

Gopi. My Lord, this Sadhu Churn is a head ryot ; 
but through the enticement of Nobin Bose he has been led 
to engage in the destruction of Indigo. 

Sadhu. My Lord, I do nothing unjust against your 
Indigo, nor am I doing now, neither have I power to do 
any thing wrong ; willingly or unwillingly I have prepared 
the Indigo, and also I am ready to make it this time. But 
then, every thing has its probability and improbability ; if 
you want to make powder of eight inches' thickness to enter 
a pipe half-an-inch thick, will it not burst ? I am a poor 
ryot, keep only one-and-a-half ploughs, have only twenty 
bigahs of land for cultivation ; and now, if I am to give'nine 
bigahs out of that for Indigo, that must occasion my death, 
but my Lord, what is that to you, it is only my death. 

Gopi. The Saheb fears lest you keep him confined in the 
godown of your eldest Babu. 

Sadhu. Now, Sir Dewanji, what you say is striking 
a corpse (useless labor). What mite am I that I shall im- 
prison the Saheb, the mighty and glorious. 

Gopi. Sadhu, now away with your high flown language ; 
it does not sound well on the tongue of a peasant ; it is like a 
sweeper's broom touching the body. 

Wood. Now the rascal is become very wise. 

Amin. That fool explains the laws and magistrate's orders 
to the common people, and thus raises confusion. His 
brother draws the ploughshare, and he uses the high word 
pratdpshdli " glorious." 

Gopi. The child of the preparer of cow-dung balls is 
become a Court Naeb (deputy). My Lord, the establishment 
of schools in villages has increased the violence of the ryots. 

Wood. I shall write to our Indigo Planters' Association 
to make a petition to the Government for stopping the 
schools in villages ; we shall fight to secure stopping the 
schools. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 15 

Alain. That fool wants to bring the case into Court. 

Wood. (To Sadhu) You are very wicked. You have 
twenty bigahs, of which, if you employ nine bigahs for 
Indigo, why can't you cultivate the other nine bigahs for rice. 

Gopi. My Lord, the debt which is credited to him can be 
made use of for bringing the whole twenty bigahs within our 
own power. 

SadJm. (To himself) O oh ! the witness for the spirit- 
seller is the drunkard ? (Openly) K the nine bigahs which 
are marked off for the cultivation of the Indigo were work- 
ed % the plough and kine of the Factory, then can I 
use the other nine bigahs for rice. The work which is to 
be done in the rice-field is only a fourth of that which is 
necessary in the Indigo-field, consequently if I am to remain 
engaged in these nine bigahs, the remaining eleven bigahs 
will be without cultivation. 

Wood. You, dolt, are very wicked, you scoundrel 
(hdramjddd) ; you must take the money in advance ; you 
must cultivate the land ; you are a very scoundrel (kicks 
him). You shall leave off every thing when you meet 
with Shamchand (takes Shamchand from the wall.) 

Sadhu. My Lord, the Iwnd is only blackened by killing 
a fly, i. e., your beating me only injures you. I am too mean. 
We 

May. (Angrily) O my brother, you had better stop ; let 
them take what they can ; our very stomach is on the point of 
falling down from hunger. The whole day is passed, we have 
not yet been able either to bathe or to take our food. 

Amin. rascal, where is your Court now ? (Twists hia 
ears}. 

Ray. (With violent panting). I now die! My mother! 
my mother ! 

Wood. Beat that "bloody nigger," (beats ivith 
chand, the hatter strap}. 



16 NIL DARPAN, OR 

Enter NOBIN MADHAB. 

Ray. O thou Babu ! I ain dying ! Give me some water. 
I am just dead ! 

Nobin. Saheb they have not bathed, neither have they 
taken the least food. The members of their family have not 
yet washed their faces. If you thus destroy your ryots by flog- 
ging them, who will prepare your Indigo ? This Sadhu Churn 
prepared the produce of about four bigahs last year with the 
greatest trouble possible ; and if with such severe beatings 
you make such cruel advances to them, that is only your loss. 
For this day give them leave, and to-morrow I myself thai I 
bring them with me, and do as thou do'st bid me. 

Wood. Attend to your own business. "What concern have 
you with another's affairs. Sadhu, give your opinion quickly, 
as it is my dinner time. 

Sadhu. What is the use of waiting for my opinion ? You 
have already marked off the four bigahs of the most productive 
land ; and the Amin has, to-day, marked off the remaining 
part. The land is marked without my consent, the Indigo 
shall be prepared in the same way ; and I also agree to 
prepare it without taking any advances. 

Wood. Do you say my advances are all fictitious you 
cursed wretch, bastard and heretic, (beats him). 

Nobin. (Covers with his hand the back of Sadhu). My 
Lord, this poor man has many to support in his family. 
Owing to the beating he has got, I think, he will be confined in 
bed for a month. Oh ! What pains his family is suffering ? 
Sir, you have also your family. Now, what sorrow would 
affect the mind of your wife if you were' taken prisoner at 
your dinner-time ? 

Wood. Be silent thou fool, braggart, low fellow, cow-eater. 
Don't think that this Magistrate is like that one of Amarana- 
gara, that you can, for every word, lay complaints before him, 
and imprison the men of the Factory. The Magistrate of 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 17 

Iiidrabad is as death to you. You rascal, you must 
first give me a hand-note to state you have received 
the advance for sixty bigahs of land, or else I shall not 
let you go this day. I shall break your head with this 
Shamchand, you stupid. It is owing to your not taking ad- 
vances, that I have not been able to force advances on ten 
other villages. 

Nobin. (With heavy sighs.) O my Mother Earth! separate 
yourself that I may enter into you. In my life I never 
suffered such an insult. 0, oh ! 

GQpi, Babu Nobin, better go home, no use of making fuss. 

Nobin. Sadhu, call on God, He is the only support of the 

helpless. 

(Nobin Madhab goes away.) 

Wood. Thou slave of the slave. Take him to the Factory, 
Dewan, and give him the advance according to rule. 

( Wood goes away.) 

Gopi. Sadhu, come along to the Factory. Does the Saheb 
forget his words ? 

Now ashes have fallen on your ready-made, rice; the 
Yama* of Indigo has attacked you, and you have no safety. 



FIEST ACT FOURTH SCENE. 
GOLUK CHUNDER BASU'S HALL. 



Enter SOIRINDRI preparing a hair-string. 
Soirindri. I never did prepare such a piece of hair- 
string. The youngest Bouf is the most fortunate, since 
whatever I do in her name proves successful. The hair- 
string I have made, is the thinnest possible. According to 

* Yama is Death, the king of terror. 

f This is a term which is applied to one's son's wife ; but sometimes, 
though rarely, it means wife. 

D 



18 NIL DARPAN, OR 

the hair, the hair-string is made. Oh ! how beautiful the hair 
is ; it is like unto that of the Goddess Kali. The face 
is as the lotus, always smiling. People may say what- 
ever they choose to one whom they do not like. I don't 
attend to that. For my part, I feel pleasure when I see the 
face of the youngest Bou. I consider the youngest Bou in 
the same light, as I do Bipin. The youngest Bou loves me 
as her own mother. 

SARALOTA enters with a braid in her hand. 

Saralota. My sister, just see whether I have been able to 
make the under part of this braid ? Is it not made ? 

Soirindri. (Seeing the braid.) Yes, now it is well made. 
O ! my sister, this part is made somewhat bad ; the yellow 
does not look well after the red colour. 

Saralota. I wove it by observing your braid. 

Soirindri. Is the yellow after the red in that ? 

Saralota. No ; in that the green is after the red. But 
because my green thread is finished, therefore I placed the 
yellow after that. 

Soirindri. You were not able, I see, to wait for the 
market-day. I see, my sister, every thing is in haste with you. 
As it is said, "Hurry is in Brindabun; but as soon as the 
desire rises, there is no more waiting"* 

Saralota. Oh ! What fault have I committed for that ? 
Can that be got in the market ? At the last market-day, my 
mother-in-law sent for it ; but that was not got. 

Soirindri. When they write a letter this time to my 
husband's brother, we shall send to ask for threads of various 
colours. 

Saralota. Sister, how many days are there still remaining 
of this month. 

* This is only a quotation, explaining, by an example, the eagerness of the 
mind when the tlesire is once excited. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR 19 

Soirindri. (Laughingly.) On the place where the pain 
is, the hand touches. As soon as his* College closes, he 
shall come home, therefore you are counting the days. Ah ! 
my sister, your mind's words are come out. 

Saralota. I say truly, my sister ; I never meant that. 

Soirindri. How very good-natured our Bindu Madhab is ? 
His words are honey. When we hear his letters read, they 
Tain like drops of nectar. I never saw such love towards 
one's brother as his ; and also his brother shows the greatest 
affection for him. When he hears the name of Bindu Madhab, 
his taart overflows with joy, and it becomes, as it were, 
expanded. Also, as he is, so our Saralota is, (pressing Sara- 
lotas cheefy Saralota is as honesty itself (Saralota). Have 
I not brought with me my huka ? I see, that as I 
cannot remain without it for a moment, that is the first 
thing which I have forgotten to bring along with me. 

Enter ADURL 

Aduri, will you just go and bring me some ashes of 
tobacco ? 

Aduri. Where shall I now seek for it ? 

Soirindri. It is stuck on the thatched roof of the cook- 
room, on the right side of the steps leading into the room. 

Aduri. Then, let me bring the ladder from the thresh- 
ing floor ; else how can I reach to the roof ? 

Saralota. Very well. 

Soirindri. Why can she not understand our mother-in- 
law's word ? Don't you understand what steps are, and what 
Dain^f- signifies ? 

Aduri. Why shall T become a Dain ; it is my fate. As 
soon as a poor woman becomes old and her teeth fall out 

* This pronoun " his" refers to the husband of Saralota. 

t This is a Beugalli term signifying sometimes sight and sometimes 
a witch. 



20 NIL DARPAN, OR 

she is immediately called a Dain. I shall speak of this to 
our mistress ; am I become so old as to be called a Dain ? 

Soirindri. (Rising up.*) Youngest Bon, sit down, I am 
coming ; to-day we shall hear the Betal of Vidyeasagar. 

(Soirindri goes away.) 

Aduri. That Sagar allows marriage to the widows ; fie ! 
fie ! Are there not two parties to that ? I am of the Ajah's * 
party. 

Saralota. Aduri, did your husband love you well ? 

Aduri. O young Haldarni, do not raise that word of sor- 
row now. Even up to this day, when his face comes Before 
my mind's eye, my heart, as it were, bursts with sorrow. 
He loved me very much. And he even wanted to give me a 
daughter-in-law. He even did not give me time to sleep. 
Whenever I felt drowsy, he said, "O my love, are you 



Saralota. Did you call him by his name ? 
Aduri. Fie ! fie ! fie ! The husband is one's Lord. Is it 
proper to call him by his name ? 

Saralota. Then, how did you call him ? 
Aduri. I used to say, " O ! do you hear me." 

Enter SOIRINDRI again. 

Soirindri. Who has irritated this fool again ? 

Aduri. She was inquiring after my husband, therefore 
I was speaking with her. 

Soirindri. (Laughing.) I never saw a greater fool than 
this our youngest Bou. While having so many subjects of 
talk, still you are exciting Aduri in order to hear from her 
about her husband. 



* The word Rajah is here pronounced in an odd form ; r.nd it has reference 
to those rajahs who were against w'n'ow marriage. As the word is pronounced 
by a woman of the lower cl;iss, it is spelt here incorrectly. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 21 

Enter REBOTI and KHETROMANI. 

Welcome, my dear sister, I have been sending for you for 
these many days ; still I see, you don't get time to come. O 
our youngest Bou, here take your Khetra ; here she is come. 
She was troubling me for these days, saying, My sister 
Khetra, of the Ghose family, is come from her father-in-law's 
house ; then, why is she not yet coming to our house ? 

Reboti. Yes, such is your love towards us. Khetra, 

bow down before your aunt. 

(Khetr^mani bows down.) 

Sbirindri. Remain with your husband for life ; wear 
vermillion even in your white hair ; let your iron circlet* 
continue for ever, and the next time you go to your father- 
in-law's house, take your new-born son with you. 

Aduri. The young Haldarni speaks most fluently before 
me ; but this young girl bowed down before her ; and she 
spoke not a single word. 

Soirindri. Oh ! what of that. Aduri, just go and call 
our mother-in-law here. 

(Aduri goes out.) 

The fool knows not what she says. For how many months 
is shef with child ? 

Reboti. Did I yet express that ? The bad turn of my 
fortune (broken forehead) is such, that I yet cannot say 
whether that is actually the case or not ? It is because that 
you are very familiar with us, that I tell it you : at the 
end of this month she will be in her fourth month. 

Saralota. Khetra, why did you cut off the curls of your 
hair ? 

KJietro. The elder brother of my husband was much 
displeased at seeing the curls in my hair. Our mistress said, 

* 1 he iron circlet worn by a woman 011 her left hand, is the maik or sign 
of the husband being alive. 

f Referring to Khelromani. 



22 NIL DARPAN, OR 

that curls agree best with prostitutes and women of rich 
families. I was so much ashamed at hearing his words, that 
from that very day I cut off my curls. 

Soirindri. Youngest Bou, the shades of evening are 
spreading about ; just go, my sister, and bring the clothes. 

Enter ADURI again. 

Saralota. (Standing up.) Aduri, come with me ; let us 
go up, and bring down the clothes. 

Aduri. Let young ( f aldar first come home, ha ! ha ! ha ! 
(Ashamed, Saralota goes aivay.) 

Soirindri. (With anger, yet laughing.} Go thou unfor- 
tunate fool ; at every word, you joke. Where is my mother- 
in-law ? 

Enters SABITRI. 

Yes, she is come. 

Sabitri. Ghose Bou, art thou come, and hast thou brought 
your daughter with you ? Yes, you have done well. Bipin 
was making noise, therefore, I sent him out and am come 
here. 

Rcboti. My mother, I bow down before you. Khetra, bow 
down before your grand-mother. (Khetromani bows down.) 

Sabitri. Be happy, be the mother of seven sons. 
(Coughing aside.} My eldest Bou, just go into the room, 
I think my son is up. Oh ! my son has no regular time for 
bathing, neither for taking food. My Nobin is become very 
weak by mere vain thoughts (aside, " Aduri ") Oh ! my 
daughter, go in soon, I think, he is asking for water. 

Soirindri. (Aside, to Aduri.) Aduri, calling for you. 

Aduri. Calling for me, but asking for you. 

Soirindri. Thou burnt-faced. Sister Ghose meet me 
another day. 

(Exit Soirindri.) 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 23 

Rebotl O my mother, here is none else. Some great 
danger has fallen upon me, that Podi Moyrani came to our 
house yesterday. 

Sabitri. Rama ! Kama ! Rama ! who allows that nasty 
fool to enter his house ? What is left of her virtue ? She 
has only to write her name in the public notices. 

Reboti. My mother, but what shall I do ? My house is 
not an enclosed one. When our males go to take dinner 
outside, the house is no more a housfc ; but you may call 
it a mart. That strumpet says (I do shrink at the thought), 
she ftiys, that the young Saheb is become, as it were, mad 
at seeing Khetromani ; and wants to see her in the Factory. 

Aduri. Fye ! fye ! fye ! bad smell of the onion ! Can 
we go to the Saheb. Fye ! fye ! bad smell of the onion ! I 
shall never be out any more alone. I can bear every other 
thing, but the smell of the onion I can never bear. Fye ! 
fye ! bad smell of the onion ! 

Reboti. But, my mother, is not the virtue of the poor 
actual virtue ? That fool* says, he will give money, give 
grants of lands for the cultivation of rice ; and also give 
some employment to our son-in-law. Fie ! fie ! to money. Is 
virtue something to be sold ? Has it any price ? What can 
I say ? That fool was an agent of the Saheb, or else I would 
have broken her mouth with one kick. My daughter is become 
thunder-struck from yesterday ; and now and then, she is 
starting with fear. 

Aduri. Oh, the Beard ! When he speaks, it is like a 
he-goat twisting about its mouth. For my part, I would 
never be able to go there as long as he does not leave off 
his onions and beard. Fie ! fie ! fie 1 the bad smell of the 
onion. 

Reboti. Mother, again that unfortunate fool says, if you 

* Referring to Podi Moyrani (sweet-meat maker). 



24 NIL DARPAN, OR 

do not send her with me, I shall take her away by certain 
latyals 

Sabilrl. What more is the Burmese (Mug) power? Can 
any one take away a woman from a house in the British 
Dominion ? 

Reboti. O my Mother ! Every violence can be commit- 
ted in the ryot's house. Taking away the women, they bring 
the men under their power. In giving advances for Indigo 
they can do this ; onlyHhey cannot commit this before one's 
eyes. Don't you know, my mother, the other day, because 
certain parties did not agree to sign a fictitious receive of 
advances, they broke down their house and took away by force 
the wife of one of the Babus. 

Sabitri. What anarchy is this ! Did you inform Sadhu 
of this. 

Reboti. No, my mother. He is already become mad on 
account of the Indigo ; again, if he hear this, will he keep 
quiet ? Through excessive anger he will rather smite his head 
with the axe. 

Sabitri. Very well, I shall make this known to Sadhu, 
through my husband ; you need not say anything. What 
misfortune is this ! The Indigo Planters can do anything. 
Then why do I hear it generally said, that the Sahebs are 
strict in dispensing justice. Again, my son Bindu Madhab 
speaks much in praise of- them. Therefore I think that 
these are not Sahebs ; no, they are the dregs, (Chanddl) of 
Sahebs. 

Reboti. Respecting another word which Moyrani has said, 
I think the eldest Babu has not heard of it that a new 
order has been proclaimed, by which the wicked Sahebs, by 
opening a communication with the Magistrate, can throw any 
one into prison for six months ; again, that they are making 
preparations for doing the same with the Babus. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 25 

Sabitri. (Sighing deeply.} If this be in the mind of God 
it will be. 

Reboti. Many other things she said, my mother ; but I 
was not able to understand her. Is it the fact, that there is 
no appeal when once a person is imprisoned ? 

Aduri. I think, the wretch has aggravated this impri- 
soning. 

Sabitri. Aduri, be silent a little, my child. 

Reboti. Moreover, the wife of the Indigo Planter, in order 
to make her husband's case strong (pcucka), has sent a letter 
to the Magistrate, since it is said that the Magistrate hears 
her words most attentively. 

Aduri. I saw the lady ; she has no shame at all. When 
the Magistrate of the Zillah (whose name occasions great 
terror) goes riding about through the village, the lady also 
rides on horseback, with him. The Bou riding about on a 
horse ! Because the aunt of Kesi once laughed before the elder 
brother of her husband, all people ridiculed her; while 
this was the Magistrate of the Zillah. 

Sabitri. I see, wretched woman, thou wilt occasion some 
great misfortune one day. Now it is evening, Ghose Bou, 
better go home. There is Durga. 

Reboti. Now, I go my mother. I shall buy some oil from 
the shop ; then there will be light in the house. 

(Exit Reboti and Khetromani.) 

Sabitri. Can't you remain without speaking something at 
every word. 

Enter SARALOTA ivith clothes on her head. 

Aduri. Here, our washerwoman is come with her 
clothes. 

Sabitri. Thou fool, why is she a washerwoman ? She is 
my Bou of gold, my Goddess of good Fortune (patting 
her back). Is there no one in my family excepting you to 



26 NIL DARPAN, OR 

bring down the clothes ? Can't you, for one dunda* sit quiet 
in one place ? Art thou born of such a mad woman ? How 
did you tear off your cloth. I think you bruised yourself. 
Ah, her body is, as it were, a red lotus ; and this one 
bruise has made the blood to come out with violence. 
Now, my daughter, I tell you, never move up and down the 
steps in the dark, in such a manner. 

Enter SOIRINDRI. 

Soirindri. Now, o$r young Bou, let us go to the ghdt. 

Sabitri. Now, my daughters, while the evening light con- 
tinues, you two together go and wash yourselves. p 

(Exit all) 



SECOND ACT FIRST SCENE. 

THE GODOWN OF BEGUNBARI FACTORY. 



Torapa and four other Ryots sitting. 

Torapa. Why do they not kill me at once ? I can never 
show myself ungrateful. That eldest Babu, who has pre- 
served my caste ; he through whose influence I am living here ; 
he, who by preserving my plough and the cows, is preserving 
my life, shall I by giving false evidence throw the father of 
that Babu into prison ? I can never do that ; I would rather 
give my life. 

First Ryot. Before sticks there can be no ivords ; the 
stroke of Shamchand is a very terrible thrust. Have we 
a film on our eyes ; did we not serve our eldest Babu ? 
But, then, what can we do ? If we do not give evidence 
they will never keep us as we are. Wood Saheb stood 
upon my breast and blood began to fall drop by drop. A nd 
the feet of the horse were, as it were, the hoofs of the ox. 

* A dunda is equal to 24 Knglish minutes. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 27 

Second Ryot. Thrusting in the nails ; don't you know the 
nails which are stuck under the shoes worn by the Sahebs ? 

Torapa. (Grinding his teeth with anger.) , Why do you 
speak of the nails ? My heart is bursting with having seen 
this blood. What do I say ? If I can once get him in the 
Vataramari field, with one slap I can raise him in the air ; 
and at once put a stop to all his " gad dams" and other words 
of chastisement. 

Third Ryot. I am only a hireling,* and keep men under 
me. When I heard about the plan which our master 
fornfcd, I immediately refused to take any Indigo busi- 
ness on my hand, saying I shall never work for that. 
Why was I then confined in the godown ? I thought that 
serving under him at this time, I shall be able to make a good 
collection and shall be able to attend to my friend; but I am 
rotting here in this place for five days, and again I am to go 
to that Andarabad. 

Second Ryot. I went to that Andarabad once or twice ; 
as also to that Factory of Bhabnapore, every one speaks good 
of the Saheb of that place ; that Saheb once sent me to the 
Court, then I saw many things pleasant in that place. 

Torapa. Did he find any fault with you ? The Saheb of 
Bhabnapore never raises a false disturbance. " By speaking 
the truth, we sliall ride on horseback." Had all Sahebs been 
of the same character with him, then none would have spoken 
ill of the Sahebs. 

Second Ryot. My heart over-flows with joy. 

Now his torturing is all put a stop to. In his godown 
there are now seven persons ; one of them a child. The vile 
man has filled his house also with kine and calves. Oh, 
what robbery is he carrying on ! 

Torapa. As soon as they get a Saheb who is a good man 
they want to destroy him. They are holding a meeting to 
drive off the Magistrate. 



28 NIL DARPAN, OR 

Second Ryot. I cannot understand whether they have 
found fault with the Magistrate of this or the other Zillah ? 

Torapa. He did not go to dine in the Factory. They 
prepared a dinner for the Magistrate, in order to get him 
within their power, but the Magistrate concealed himself 
like a stolen cow ; he did not go to dinner. He is a 
person of a good family. Why should he go to the Indigo 
Planters ? We have now understood, these Planters are the 
low people of Belata.*^ 

First Ryot. Then how did the late Governor Saheb go 
about all the Indigo Factories, being feasted like a bride-g^oom 
just before the celebration of the marriage.^ Did you not see 
that the Planter Sahebs brought him to this Factory well- 
adorned like a bride-groom ? 

Second Ryot. I think he has some share in this Indigo 
Company. 

Torapa. No ! can the Governor take a share in Indi- 
go affairs ? He came to increase his fame. If God pre- 
serve our present Governor, then we shall be able to procure 
something for our sustenance ; and the great burden of 
Indigo shall no more hang on our shoulders. 

Third Ryot. (With fear.) I die. If the ghost of this 
burden once attack a person, is it true that it does not quit 
him soon ? My wife said so. 

Torapa. Why have you brought this my brother here ? 
For fear of the Sahebs, people are leaving the village ; and 
my uncle Bochoroddi has formed the following sentence : 

" The man with eyes like those of the cat, is an ignorant fool ; 
" So the Indigo of the Indigo Factory is an instrument of punish- 
ment." 



* Belata means England. 

t This refers to a certain practice in India of the Bride-groom going to the 
houses of relatives amid great feasting, before the celebration of the marriage, 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 29 

Bochoroddi is very expert in forming such sentences. 
Second Ryot. Did not you hear another sentence which 
was composed by Nita Atai ? 

" The Missionaries have destroyed the caste ; 
" The Factory monkeys have destroyed the rice." 

Torapa. Aola Nochen has composed " Destroyed the 
Caste," what is it ? 
Second Ryot 

" The Missionaries have destroyed ftie caste : 
" The Factory monkeys have destroyed the rice." 

Fourth Ryot. Ha ! I do not know what is taking place 

in my house ; I am become the inhabitant of three villages 
at once. I came away to Svaropur, and through the advice 
of Bose, I threw away the advance which was offered me. 
When my young child was sick I came to Bose to get 
from him a little sugar-candy. Ah ! how very kind he was ; 
how agreeable and good-looking in countenance I found 
him ; and sitting as solemn as an elephant. 

Torapa. How many bigahs have they given this year ? 

Fourth Ryot. Last year I prepared ten bigahs ; but as 
to the price of that, they raised great confusion. This year 
again, they have given advances for fifteen bigahs ; and I 
am doing exactly as they are ordering me ; still, they leave 
not off insulting me. 

First Ryot. I am laboring with my plough for these two 
years, and I have cultivated a little piece of ground. That 
piece of ground which I prepared this year, I kept for sesa- 
mum ; but one day, our young Saheb, riding on his horse, 
came to the place, and waiting there himself, took posses- 
sion of the whole piece. How can the ryots live if this is 
to continue ? 

Torapa This is only the intrigue of the wicked Amin. 
Does the Saheb know every thing about land ? This fool 



30 NIL DARPAN, OR 

goes about like a revengeful dog : when he sees any good piece 
of land, he immediately gives notice of it to the Saheb. The 
Saheb has no want of money, and he has no need for borrowing 
money on credit. Then, why is it that the fool does so ; if he 
have to cultivate Indigo, let him do so ; let him buy oxen ; let 
him prepare ploughs ; if he cannot guide the plough himself, 
jet him keep men under him. What want have you of lands ? 
If you can cultivate the whole village ; and we do not refuse 
to give the village. In that case the land can overflow with 
Indigo in two years. But he will not do it. 

(Aside, ho! ho! ho! md! md!) Gazi-Saheb ! azi- 
Saheb ! Durga ! Durga !* call your Rama. Within this 
there are ghosts. Be silent, be silent. 

(Aside, Oh Indigo ! You came to this land for our utter 
ruin. Ah ! I cannot any more suffer this torture. I cannot 
say how many other Factories there are of this Concern. 
Within this one month and-a-half, I have already drunk the 
water of fourteen Factories ; and I do not know in what 
Factory I am now ; and how can I know that, while I am 
taken in the night from one Factory to another, with my 
eyes entirely shut. Oh ! my mother where art thou now 1 ) 

Third Ryot. Rama ! Rama ! Rama ! Kali ! Kali ! 
Durga ! Ganesha ! Ashra ! 

Torapa. Silence, silence. 

(Aside, Ah ! I can make myself free from this hell, if I 
take the advance for five bigahs of land. Oh ! my uncle, it 
is now proper to take the advance. Now, I see no means 
of giving the notice ; my life is on the point of leaving the 
body. I have no more any power to speak. Oh my Mother, 
where art thou now ? I have not seen thy holy feet for a 
month-and-a-half.) 

* These are 'all words used by Mahomedans in times of great alarm ; and 
here it is used to express the fear of ghosts. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 31 

Third Ryot. I shall speak of this to my wife ; did you 
hear now ? Although these are become ghosts after death, 
still have they not been able to extricate themselves from the 
Indigo advances. 

First Ryot. Art thou so very ignorant ? 

Torapa. A person of a good family ; I have understood 
that by the words. My uncle Prana, can you once take me 
up on your shoulders, then I can ask him where his resi- 
dence is ? 

First Ryot. Thou art a Musulman. 

TojKipa. Then, you had better rise on my shoulders and see 
(sits down) rise up (sits on the shoulders) take hold of 
the wall ; bring your face before the window (seeing Gopi 
Churn at a distance) come down, come down, my uncle, 
Gopi is coming (first Ryot falls down). 

Enter GOPI CHURN and MR. ROSE with his Ramkanta* 
in his hand. 

Third Ryot. Dewan, there is a ghost in this room. 
Now, it was crying aloud. 

Gopi. If you don't say as I teach you, you must become 
a ghost of the very same kind. (Aside, to Mr. Rose) These 
persons have known about Mojumdar's confinement, we must 
no more keep him in this Factory. It was not proper to 
keep him in that room. 

Rose. I shall hear of that afterwards. What ryot has 
refused ; what rascal is so very wicked? (Stamps his feef). 

Gopi. These are all well-prepared. This Musulman is very 
wicked ; he says, I can never show myself ungrateful, (nimak 
hardmi). 

Torapa. (Aside.) O my father ! How very terrible the stick 
is! Now I must agree with them ; as to future considera- 

* It is very like Shamchand. 



32 NIL DARPAN, OR 

tions I shall see what I can do afterwards. (Openly) Pardon 
me, Saheb ! I, also, am become the same with you. 

Planter. Be silent, thou child of the sow ! This Ram- 
kant is very sweet. (Strikes with Ramkant and also kicks 
him). 

Torapa. Oh ! oh ! my mother, I am now dead ! My uncle 
Prana, give me a little water ; I die for water. My father, 
father ! 

Rose. Shall not filth be discharged into your mouth? 

(Strikes with his shoes'). 

(9 
Torapa. Whatever thou shalt say, I shall do. Before 

God, I ask pardon of thee, my Lord. 

Rose. Now the villain has left his wickedness. To-night 
all must be sent. Just write to the Attorney, that as long as 
the evidence is not given, not one of these shall be let out. 
The Agent shall go with them. (To the Third Ryot}. Why 
art thou crying ? (Gives a kick). 

Third Ryot. Bou, where art thou ? These are murdering 
me. O my mother ! Bou ! my mother ! I am killed, I am 
killed. (Falls upside down on the ground). 

Rose. Thou, stupid, art become (bonra) mad. 

(Exit Mr. Rose). 

Gopi. Now, Torapa, have you got your full of the onion 
and the shoe ? 

Torapa. Oh Dewanji, preserve me by giving a little 
water. I am on the point of death. 

Gopi. The Indigo ware-house and the steam-engine room 
these are places where the sweat shoots forth and water is 
drunk. Now, all of you, come with me, that you may at once 
drink water. 

(Exit all.} 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 33 

SECOND ACT SECOND SCENE. 

THE BED-ROOM OF BINDU MADHAB. 



Saralota sitting with a letter in her hand. 

Saralota. Now, my dear love with an honest tongue is 
not come, and an elephant, as it were, is treading on the 
lotus-like heart. I have become hop^ess amid very great 
hope. In expectation of the coming of the Lord of my life, I 
was aiting with greater disquietude of mind than the swallow 
(chdtak) does when waiting for the drops of rain at the ap- 
proaching rainy season. The way in which I was counting the 
days exactly corresponded with what my sister said, that each 
day appeared, as it were, a year, (deep sigh). The expectation 
as to the coming of my husband is now of no effect. The, 
course of his life itself will prove successful, if the great action 
in which he is now engaged, can prove so. Oh, Lord 
of my life ! We are born women, and cannot even go out to 
walk in the garden ; we are unable to walk out in the city ; can 
by no means form clubs for general good ; we have no Col- 
leges nor Courts, nor Brahma Samajs of our own ; we have 
nothing of our own, to compose the mind, when it is once 
disturbed ; and, moreover, we can never blame a woman when 
she feels any disquietude. O my Lord, we have only one to 
depend upon, the husband is the object of the wife's thought, 
of her understanding, her study, her acquisition, her meeting, 
her society; in short, this jewel the husband is all to a 
virtuous woman. O thou letter ! thou art come from the 
hand of the dear object of my heart, I shall kiss thee, (kisses 
it) ; in thee is the name of my Lord ; I shall hold thee on 
my burnt heart, (keeps it on her breast}. Ah! how sweet are 
the words of my Lord ; as often as I read it, my mind is more 
and more charmed (reads'). 

F 



34 NIL DARPAN, OR 

MY DEAR SARALA, In my letter I cannot express 
what anxiety my mind feels, to see your sweet face. 
what inexpressible pleasure do I feel when I place 
your beautiful (moonlike) face on my breast ! I thought 
that that moment of happiness is come ; but pain im- 
mediately overtook pleasure. The College is closed, but a 
great misfortune has come upon me ; through the, grace, of 
God, if 1 be not able to extricate myself from it, I shall 
never be able any more to show my face to thee. The Indigo 
Planters have secretly brought an accusation against my 
' father in the Court ; their main design being, in some- way 
or other, to throw him into Jail. I have sent letters, one 
after another, to my brother, giving him this information ; 
and I myself am remaining here with the greatest care pos- 
sible. Never disturb yourself with vain thoughts ? The mer- 
ciful Father must certainly make us successful. My dear, 2 
have not forgotten the Bengali translation of " Shakes' 
peare ;" it cannot be got now in the shops ; but one of my 
friends, Bonkima by name, has given me one copy. When 
I come home, I shall bring it with me. My dear, what 
a great source of pleasure is the acquisition of learn- 
ing ! I am conversing with you, although at such a 
great distance, Ah I what great happiness would my 
mind have enjoyed if my mother did not forbid you to 
send letters to me. 

" I am, yours, 

" BINDU MADHAB." 

As to myself I have a full confidence as to that. If there 
be any fault in your character, then who should be an 
example of good conduct ? Because I am fickle ; cannot 
sit, for some time quietly in one place, my mother-in-law 
calls me the daughter of a mad woman. But, where is my 
fickleness now. In the place, where I have opened the letter 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 35 

of my dear Lord, I have spent nearly a fourth part of the 
day. The fickleness of the exterior part has now gone into 
the heart. As, on the boiling of the rice, the froth rising up 
makes the surface quiet, but the rice within is agitated ; so 
am I now. I have not that smiling face now. A sweet 
smile is the wife of happiness ; and so soon as happiness dies > 
the sweet smile goes along with it. My Lord, when thou shalt 
prove successful, every thing shall be preserved ; if I am to 
see your face disquieted, all sides will ^e dark unto me. O 
my restless mind, wilt thou be not quieted ? If you remain 
unqu^t, that can be suffered. As to your weeping, none can 
see it, nor can hear it ; but my eyes ! you shall throw me into 
shame, (rubbing her eyes) ; if ye are not pacified, I shall not 
be able to go out of doors. 

Enter ADURI. 

Aduri. What are you doing here ? The elder Haldarni* is 
not able to go to the tank-side. All whom I see are of a 
disturbed countenance. 

Saralota. (A deep sigh.) Let us then go. 

Aduri. I see you have not yet touched the oil. Your 
hairs are yet dusty, and you have not yet left the letter. 
Does our young Haldar write my name in the letter ? 

Saralota. Has the Bara Takur (the eldest brother of 
the husband) finished his bathing ? 

A duri. The eldest Haldar is gone to the village. A 
law-suit is being carried on. Was that not written in your 
letter ? Our master was weeping. 

Saralota. (Aside.) Truly, my Lord ! Thou shalt not be 
able to show thy face, if thou can'st not prove successful. 
(Openly) Let us now rub ourselves with oil in the cook-room. 

(Exit both.) 
* Referring to Soirindri, the wife of Nobin Madhab. 



36 NIL DARPAN, OR 

SECOND ACT THIED SCENE. 
A ROAD POINTING THREE WAYS. 

Enter PODI MOYRANI, 

Podi. It is the degenerate Amin who is ruining the 
country. Is it through ray own choice that I am levelling the 
axe at my feet,* by giving the young woman to the Saheb ? 
As to that preparation which Ray made, had it not been 
caught-f by Sadhu, she would have been provided with food 
and clothing for life. Ah, it bursts my heart wl sn I 
see the face of Khetromani. Have I no feelings of com- 
passion, because I have made a paramour my companion ? 
Whenever she sees me still, she comes to me, calling me 
Aunt ! Aunt ! Can the mother, with a firm heart, give 
such a golden deer into the grasp of the tiger ? How 
detestable is this, that for the sake of money, I have 
given up my caste and my life ; and also am obliged 
to touch the bed of a Buno (rude tribe). That libertine, 
the elder Saheb, has made it a practice to beat me whenever 
he finds me, and has also said, he will cut off my nose and 
ears ; that vile man is come to an old age, can keep women 
in confinement, and can kick them ; such a vile man, I 
have not seen in the present day. Let me go to the black- 
mouthed Amin and tell him that shall not be effected by 
me. Have I any power to go out in the town? When- 
ever the nasty fellows of the neighbourhood see me, they 
follow me as the Phinga (a kind of bird) does the crow. 

(Aside, a song.} Whenever I sit down to reap the rice in 
the field, his eyes immediately come before my sight. 

* This expression " striking the axe on my feet" signifies ruining myself, 
t That is, had the intrigue used by Ray not been detected, it would have 
proved very advantageous. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 37 

Enter a Cow-herd. 

Cow-herd. Saheb, have not insects attacked thine Indigo- 
twigs ? 

Podi. Let them attack thy mother and sister, thou 
degenerate fool. Leave off thy mother's breast, go to the 
house of Death ; go to Colmighata, to the grave.* 

Cow-herd. I have also sent orders to prepare a pair of 
weeding knives. 

Enter a Latyal or Clitb-man. 
Oh ! the Latyal of the Indigo Factory. 

The Cow-herd flies off swiftly. 

Latyal. Thou, Oh lotus-faced, hast made the tooth-powder 
very dear. 

Podi. (Seeing the silver chain round the waist of the 
Latyal?) Your chain is very grand. 

Club-man. Don't you know, my dear, the clothing of 
the bailiff and the dress of the dancer ? 

Podi. I wanted a black calf from you a long while ago, 
but yet you did not give it me. My brother, I shall not 
ask from thee any more. 

Club-man. Dear lotus-faced, don't be angry with me. 
To-morrow, we shall go to plunder the place called Shama- 
nagara ; and if I can get a black calf, I shall immediately 
keep that in your cow-house. When I shall return with my 
fish, I shall pass by your house. 

(Exit the Club-man) 

Podi. The Planter Sahebs do nothing but rob. If the 
ryots be loaded in a less degree with exactions they can 
preserve their lives ; and you*f* can get your Indigo. The 
Munshies of Shamanagara entreated most earnestly to get ten 

* All these signify that let Death come upon thee. 
f The word " you" refers to the Indigo Planters. 



38 NIL DARPAN, OR 

portions of land free. " The Thief never hears the instruc- 
tions of Religion." The wretched elder Saheb remained quiet, 
having burnt his wretched tongue. 

Enter four Boys of a Native Patskala. 

Four Boys. (Keeping down their mats, and expressing 
great mirth with the clapping of their hands.) 
My dear Moyrani, where is your Indigo ? 
My dear Moyrani, where is your Indigo ? 
My dear Moyrani, where is your Indigo ? 
Podi. My child Kesoba, I am your aunt. -Never use 
such words to me. 

Four Boys. (Dance together.) My dear Moyrani ; where 
is your Indigo ? 

Podi. My dear Ambika, I am your sister ; don't use me 
in this manner, 

Four Boys. (Dance round Podi.) 

My dear Moyrani, where is your Indigo ? 
My dear Moyrani, where is your Indigo ? 
My dear Moyrani, where is your Indigo ? 

Enter NOBIN MADHAB. 
Podi. What a shame is this, that I exposed my face to the 

elder Babu. 

(Exit Podi, covering herself with a veil) 

Nobin. Wicked and profligate woman. (To the children) 
You are playing on the road still ; it is now too late, go 

home now. 

(Exit four boys.) 

Ah ! I can within five days establish a school for these 
boys, if only the tyranny of the Indigo be once stopped. 
The Inspector of this part of the country is a very good man. 
How very good a man becomes, if only learning be 
acquired. He is young ; but in his conversation he has the 
experience of years. He has a great desire that a school be 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 39 

established in this country. I am also not unwilling 
to give money for this purpose ; the large Bungalow 
which I have, can be a good place for a school ; moreover, 
what is more happy than to have the boys of one's own 
country to read and write, and study in his own house, this is 
the true success of wealth and of labour. Bindu Madhab 
brought the Inspector with him, and it is his desire, that all 
with one mind try to establish the school. But observing the 
unfortunate state of the country, he was obliged to keep 
his design to himself; how vory mild, quiet, good- 
nat^red, and wise is he become now ! Wisdom in younger 
years is as beautiful as the fruits in a small plant. In 
reading of the sorrow which my brother has expressed in hig 
letter even the hard stone is melted and the heart of the 
Indigo Planter would become soft. I cannot now rise up to 
go home, I do not see any means ; I was not able to 
bring one of the five to my side, and I cannot find where 
they are taken away.* I think Torapa will never speak 
a lie. It shall be a great loss to us, if the other four give 
evidence ; especially as I was not able to make the least 
preparation ; and again the Magistrate is a great friend of 
Mr. Wood. 

Enter a Ryot, two Peadas or Bailiffs of the Police, and 
a Taidgir of the Indigo Factory. 

Ryot. My elder Babu, preserve my two children ; there 
is no one else to feed them. Last year, I gave eight carts' 
load of Indigo, and I did not get a single pice for that, and 
also I am bound, as with cords, for the remainder. Again, 
they will take me to Andarabad. 

Guard. The advance-money of the Indigo and the mark- 
ing nut of the washer-man, as soon as they come in contact, 

* This number, five, here referred to, are the persons whom he was trying 
to bring on his side for the law-suit. 



40 NIL DARPAN, OR 

become mostly joined. You villain come ; you must first go 
to the Dewanji ; your elder Babu also shall come to this. 

Ryot. Come, I don't fear this. I would rather have my 
body rot in the Jail than any more prepare the Indigo of 
that white man. My God ! my God ! none looks on the poor 
(weeps). My elder Babu, give my children food ; they 
brought me to the field ; and I was not able to see them 
once. 

(Exit all, except Nobin Madhab.) 

Nobin. What injustice ! These two children will die 
without food in the same way as the new-born young o the 
hare suffer when the hare is in the hand of the savage 
hunters. 

Enter RAY CHURN. 

Ray. Had not my brother caught hold of us, I would have 
put a stop to her breathing. I would have killed her ; then, 
at the utmost, I had been hanged within six months.* That 
villain ! 

Nobin. Ray Churn, where art thou going ? 

Ray. Our mistress ordered me to call Putakur. The 
stupid Podi told me that the bailiff will bring the summons 
to-morrow. 

(Exit Ray Churn.} 

Nobin. Oh! oh! oh! That which never took place in this 
family, has now come to pass. My father is very peaceful, 
honest, and of a sincere mind ; knows not what disputes and 
enmities are ; never goes out of the village ; trembles with 
fear at the name of Court affairs, and even shed tears when he 
read the letter. If he is to go to Indrabad, he will turn 
mad ; and if, to the jail, he will throw himself into the stream. 
Ah, such are the misfortunes that are to fall on him, while 

* This expression " had been hanged for six month*," is only used sarcas- 
tically. 



INDIGfO PLANTING MIRROR. 41 

I, his son, am living ! My mother is not so much afraid as 
my father is ; she does not lose hope at once ; with a firm 
mind, she is now invoking God. My deer-eyed is be- 
come, as it were, the deer in my volcano* ; she is become 
mad with fear and anxiety. Her father died in an Indigo 
Factory ; and her fear, now, is lest the same happens to 
her husband. How many sides am I to keep quiet ? Is it 
proper to fly off with the whole family ; or, is it not right 
that to do good unto others is the highest virtue ? I shall 
not turn aside hastily. I see, I am not able to do any 
goo% to Shaman agara ; still, what work is. there which 
is beyond the po\ver of exertion ? Let me see what I can do. 

Enter tiuo Pundits. 

First P. My child, is the house of Goluk Chunder Bose 
in this quarter.? I heard from my uncle, that person is very 
honest the grandeur of the Bose family. 

Ndbin. (Bowing before hir.i.) Sir, I am his eldest son. 

First P. Yes ! yes ! very honest ! To have such a son is 
not the result of a little virtue. 

Second P. We had been invited by Babu Arabindu, of 
Sougandha. To-day, we remain in the house of Goluk 
Chunder ; and shall do good unto you. 

Nob in. This is my great fortune. Sirs, come by this way. 

" (Exit all.) 

THIED ACT FIEST SCEXE. 
BEFORE THE FACTORY IN BEGUNBARI. 



Enter GOPI CHURN and a Native Jailor. 

Gom. Ao long as your share is not less, don't bring 
anything to my notice. 

* That is, as the doer feels disquieted when exposed in a volcano, so is uiy 
mate troubled by the many nnxieties in my mind. 

G 



42 NIL DARPAN, OR 

Jailor. Can that filth be digested by one person eating 
the whole ? I told him, if you eat, give a part to the 
Dewanji ; but he says what power has your Dewan? He is 
not so much the son of a Keat, (shoemaJcer caste) that he shall 
direct the Saheb like unto one leading a monkey, 

Gopi. Very well, now go ; I shall show that Kaot (what a 
club) how strong he is. 

(Exit Rhdldsi.) 

The fellow has got sb much power through the authority of 
the younger Saheb. I shall also say it is a- very easy 
thing for one to carry on his work, if his master be 1 the 
husband of his sister ; the elder Saheb becomes very angry 
at this word. But the fellow is very angry with me ; at 
every word, he shows me the Shamchand. That day he 
kicked me with his stockings on. These few days, I see that 
his temper is become somewhat mild towards me ; since 
Goluk Bose is summoned, he has expressed a little kindness. 
A person is considered very expert by the Saheb, if he can 
bring about the ruin of many. " One becomes a good Physi- 
cian by the death of one hundred patients" 

(Seeing Mr. Wood.) 

Here he is coming ; let me first soften his mind by giving 
him some information about the Boses. 

Enter MR. WOOD. 

Saheb, tears have now come out of the eyes of Nobin Bose. 
Never was he punished more severely. His garden is taken 
away from him ; the small pieces of land he had are all 
included among the lands which are given to Gada, Poda 
(low castes) ; his cultivation is nearly put a stop to; 
his magazines are all become empty, and he was sent into 
Court twice ; in the midst of so many troubles, he still 
stood firm ; but now he has fallen down. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIBROR. 43 

Planter. That rascal was not able to do any thing in 
Shamanagara. 

Gopi. Saheb, the Munshis came to him ; but he told 
them, my mind is not at rest now, " my limbs are become 
powerless through weeping for my father, and I am, as it 
were, become mad." On observing the wretched condition of 
Nobin, about seven or eight ryots of Shamanagara have all 
given up, and all are doing exactly as your Honour is ordering 
them. 

Planter. You are a very good Dewan, and you have 
fornjf d a very good plan. 

Gopi. I knew Goluk Bose to be a coward, and that if he 
were obliged to go to Court, he would turn mad. As Nobin has 
a great affection for his father, he will of course be punished ; 
and it was for this reason that I gave the advice to mako 
the old man the defendant. Also, the plan which your 
Honour formed was not the less good. Our Indigo cultivation 
has been newly made on the sides of his tank ; thus laying 
the snake's eggs in his heart. 

Planter. With one stone two birds have been killed ; 
ten bigahs of land are cultivated with Indigo, and also that 
fool is punished. He shed much tears, saying that if Indigo 
be planted near the tank we shall be obliged to leave our 
habitation ; but I said, to cultivate Indigo in one's habita- 
tion is to the best advantage. 

Gopi. And the fool brought an action in the Court, on 
hearing that reply. 

Planter. That will be of no effect ; that Magistrate is 
a very good man. If the case turn into a civil one it will 
never be concluded in less than five years. That Magistrate 
is a great friend of mine. Just see, by the new Act, the four 
rascals were thrown into prison only by making your 
evidence strong. This Act is become the brother of the 
sword. 



44 NIL DARPAN, OB 

Gopl. Saheb, in order that those four ryots might not 
suffer loss in their cultivation, Nobin Bose has given his own 
plough, kine, and harrow for the ploughing of their lands ; 
and he is trying his utmost that their families might not 
suffer great trouble. 

Planter. When he is required to plough this land, for 
which advances are allowed, he says, my ploughs and kine 
are less in number. He is very wicked ; and now he 
is very well punished^. Dewan, now you have done very 
well, and now I see work may be carried on by you, 
without loss. " | 

Gopi. Saheb, it is your own favour. My desire is, that 
advances should be increased every year. But that cannot 
be done by me alone ; some confident Amin and Khalasis 
are necessary. Can the Indigo cultivation be improved by 
those who, for the sake of two rupees, occasioned the loss of 
the produce of three bigahs of land ? 

Planter. I have understood it, the rascally Amin oc- 
casioned this confusion. 

Gopi. Saheb, the new habitation, and the taking of ad- 
vances of Chunder Goladar are not allowed here. The 
Amin once, according to regular custom, threw one rupee 
on his ground as an advance. That person, in order 
to l)e allowed to return that rupee even shed tears and came 
along with the Amin as far as Ruthtollah, begging him 
earnestly to take it back. There he met with Nilkanta 
Babu, who has chosen the profession of an Attorney imme- 
diately after leaving the College. 

Planter. I know that rascal ; he, it is, who writes every 
thing concerning me in the newspapers. 

Gopi. Their papers can never stand before yours, can 
by no means bear a comparison ; and, moreover, they are as 
the earthen bottles for cooling water compared to tlie jars 
of Dacca. But, to bring the newspapers within your in- 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR 45 

fluence, great expense has been incurred. That takes place 
according to time ; as is said, 

' ' According to circumstances, the friend becomes an enemy : 

" The lame ass is sold at the price of the horse." 

Planter. What did Nilkanta do ? 

Gopi. He sharply rebuked the Amin ; and the Amin 
with, no little shame brought back that one rupee, with 
two rupees more, from Goladar's house. Chunder Goladar 
would have been able very easily to supply the Indigo for 
three or four bigalis. Is this the work of a servant ? If I 
canSonduct the Dewanny and the business of the Amin ; 
then this kind of ingratitude can be stopped. 

Planter. Great wickedness this is ; evident ingratitude. 

Gopi. Saheb, grant pardon for this bad conduct ; the 
Amin brought his own sister to our younger Saheb's room. 

Planter. Yes ! Yes ! I know ; that rascal and Podi 
corrupted our young Saheb. I must give that wicked fool 
some instruction very soon. Send him to my sitting room. 

(Exit Mr. Wood) 

Gopi. Just see, in whose hand the monkey plays best. 
The Khali is one rogue, and the Crow another. 

" Now have you fallen under the stroke of the Khait ; 
where even the grand-father of the sister's husband loses the 
game." 



THIBD ACT SECOND SCENE. 
THE BED-ROOM OF NOBIN MADHAB. 

NOBIN MADHAB and SOIRINDRI sitting. 
Soirindri. Lord of my soul, what is preferable, whether 
the ornament or my father-in-law ? That, for which thou 
art wandering about day and night ; that, for which thou hast 



46 NIL DARPAN, OR 

left thy food and sleep ; that, for which thou art shedding 
tears incessantly ; that, for which thy pleasant face has 
been depressed ; and that which has occasioned thy 
head-ache ; my dear Lord, can I not for that give away this 
my trifling ornament. 

Nobln. My dear, you can, with case, give ; but with what 
face shall I take it ? What great troubles the husband is to 
undergo in order to dress his wife : he has to swim in the 
rapid stream, to thro\v ( himself into the deep ocean, engage 
in battles, to climb mountains, to live in the wilderness, and 
to go before the mouth of the tiger. The husband a^rns 
his wife with so much trouble ; am I so very foolish as to 
take away the ornament from the very same wife. O my 
lotus-eyed, wait a little. Let me see this day, and if, 
filially I cannot procure it, then I shall take your ornaments 
afterwards. 

Soirindri. O my heart's love ! We are very unfortunate 
now ; and who is there that shall give you on loan the sum 
of Co.'s Us. 500 at such a time. I am entreating you again, 
take my ornaments and those of our youngest Bou, and try 
to procure money from a banker. Observing your troubles 
the lotus-like young Bou is become sad. 

Nobin. Ah ! my sweet-faced, the cruel words which you 
used struck on my heart like arrows of fire. Our youngest 
Bou, she is a girl ; good clothes and beautiful ornaments are 
objects of pleasure to her. What understanding has she 
now ? What does she know of family business. As our 
young Bipin cries when his neck-lace is taken from him in 
play, so our youngest Bou weeps when her ornaments 
are taken away. Oh, oh ! am I formed so mean-spirited 
a man ? Am I to be so cruel a robber ? Shall I deceive a 
young girl ? This can never be, as long as life exists. The 
worthless Indigo Planters even cannot commit such a crime. 
Mv dear, never use such a word before me. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 47 

Soirindri. Beloved of my soul, that pain with which I 
told these words, is only known to me and the omniscient 
God. What doubt is there, that they are fiery arrows ? 
They have burst my heart and burnt my tongue, and then 
having divided the lips, have entered your heart. It is 
with great pain that I told you to take the ornaments 
of the youngest Bou. Can there be any pleasure iu 
the mind, after having observed this your insane wander- 
ing, this weeping of my father-in-law, Jiie deep sighs of my 
mother-in-law, the sad face of the youngest Bou, the deject- 
ed c^intenance of relatives and friends, and the sorrowful 
mournings of the ryots \ If by any means we can restore 
safety, then all shall be safe. My Lord, I do feel the 
same pain in giving the ornaments of our youngest Bou, as 
if I had to give those of Bipin ; but if I give away the or- 
naments of Bipin, before giving those of the youngest Bou, 
that would prove an act of cruelty to her ; since, she might 
think that my sister looks on me as a stranger. Can I give 
pain to her honest heart by doing this ? Is this the work 
of the elder sister who is like a mother ? 

Nobin. My dear love ! Your heart is very sincere. There 
is not a second to you in sincerity in the female race. Is this 
my family reduced to this state ! What was I, and what am 
I now become ! The sum of my profits was seven hundred 
Rupees. I had fifteen warehouses for corn, sixteen bigahs of 
garden land, twenty ploughs and fifty harrows. What great 
feasts had I at the time of the Puja ; the house filled with 
men, feasting the Brahmins, gifts to the poor, the feasting of 
friends and relations, the musical entertainments of the 
Voishnabas, and also pleasant theatrical representations. I 
have expended such large sums, and even given as donations 
one hundred Rupees. Being so rich, now I am obliged 
to take away the ornaments of my wife, and the wife 
of my young brother. What affliction ? God, thou didst 



48 NIL DARPAN, OR 

give these, and thou hast taken them again. Then, what 
sorrow ? 

Soirindri. My dear, when I see you weep, my life 
itself weeps (tears in her eyes). Was there so much pain in 
my fate ; am I thus destined to see such distress in my Lord ? 
Do not prevent m<? any more. (Takes out the amulet.) 

Nobin. My heast bursts when I see your tears (rubbing 
the tears'). Stop my dear, of the moon-like face, stop (taking 
hold of her hands). Jeep these ; one day more, let me see. 

Soirindri. My dear, what further resource is left? Do, as 
I tell you now. If it be so destined, there shall be (-Hany 
ornaments afterwards (aside, sneezing) ; true, true. Adnri 
is coming. 

Enter ADURI with tivo letters. 

Aduri. I can't say whence the letters came ; but my 
mistress told me to give them to you. 

(Exit Aduri, after giving the letters.) 

Nobin. It shall be known by these letters whether 
your ornaments are to be taken or not. (Opens the first 
letter.) 

Soirindri. Read it aloud. 

Nobin. (Reads the letter.) 

" DEAR FRIEND, TJiis is to make it known to you, that to 
give a sum of money to you at present is only to make a 
return of favours. My mother has taken leave of this 
^vorld yesterday ; and the day of her first funeral obse- 
quies is very near. This have / written yesterday. The 
tobacco is not yet sold. 

" I am, yours, 

" GHONOSYAH MUKERJI." 

What misfortune is this ! Is this my assistance on the 
funeral obsequies of the mother of the honorable Mukerji ? 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 49 

Let me see what deadly weapon hast thou brought. (Opens 
the letter.) 

Soirindri. My dear, it is very miserable to fall into 
despair after entertaining high hopes. Let the letter re- 
main as it is. 

Nobin. (Reads the letter.) 

" HONORED SIR, I received your last letter, and was 
much pleased with reading of your good fortune. I have 
already collected the sum of three hundred Rupis, and 
shall take that along with me to you to-morrow. As to the 
remaining one hundred, I shall clear that on the coming 
month. The great benefit which you have bestowed on me, 
excites me to give some interest. 

" I am, your most obdt. Servt., 

"GOKUL KRISHNA PALITA." 

Soirindri. I think God has turned his face towards us ; 
now, let me go, and give this information to our youngest Bou. 

(Exit Soirindri.) 

Nobin. (Aside.) My life is, as it were, the idol of sin- 
cerity ; it is a piece of a straw in a rapid stream. Let me 
take my father now to Indrabad, depending on this ; as to the 
future it shall be according to Fate. With me I have one 
hundred and fifty Rupis. As to the tobacco, if I had kept 
it for a month more, I would have sold that for the sum 
of five hundred Rupis ; but what can I do ? I am obliged 
to give it for three hundred and fifty Rupis, since I have to 
pay much for the Officers of the Court ; and also heavy ex- 
penses for going to and returning from the place. If on account 
of this false case, there be a delay, then am I certain that the 
destruction of this land is very near. What a brutal Act is 
passed ? But, what is the fault of the Act ; or of those who 
passed the Act ? What misery can the country suffer if those 
who are to carry out the Act, do it with impartiality ? Ah, 

H 



50 NIL DARPAN, OR 

by tins Act how many persons are suffering in prison-houses 
without a fault ! It bursts the heart to see the miseries of 
their wives and children ; the pots for boiling rice on the 
hearths are remaining as they are ; the several kinds of grain 
in their yards are being dried up ; their kine in the rooms 
are all remaining bound in their places ; the cultivation of the 
fields is not fully carried out, the seeds are not sown, and 
the wild grass in the rice fields is not cut off. What further 
prospects are there in^he present year ? All are crying aloud, 
with the exclamation, Where is my lord ? Where is my 
father ? Some Magistrates are dispensing justice with proper 
consideration ; in their hands this Act is not become the rod 
of death. Ah ! Had all Magistrates been as just as the 
Magistrate of Amaranagara is, then could the harrow fall on 
the ripe grain and the locusts destroy the fields ? Had that 
been the case, would I ever have been thrown into 
so many dangers ? O, thou Lieutenant-Governor ! had'st 
thou engaged men of the same good character as thou had'st 
enacted laws, then the country would never have been 
miserable. O, thou Governor of the land ! had'st thou made 
such a regulation, that every plaintiff, when his case is prov- 
ed false, shall be put in prison, then the jail of Amara- 
nagara would have been crowded with Indigo Planters ; and 
they would never have been so very powerful. Our Magis- 
trate is transferred, but our case is to continue here to the 
end ; and that will occasion our ruin. 

(Enter Sabitri.) 

Sabitri. If you are to give up all the ploughs, is it that 
even then you are to take the advance-money ? Sell all 
your ploughs and kine, and engage in trade ; we shall enjoy 
ourselves with the profits that shall accrue from that. We 
can no longer endure this. 

Nobin. Mother, I, also, have the same desire. Only, I 
wait till Bindu is engaged in some service. If we leave off 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 51 

ploughing the land, it will be impossible for us to maintain 
the family ; and it is for this reason, that we have still, with 
so much trouble, kept these ploughs. 

Sabitri. How shalt thou go with this headache ? Oh oh ! 
was such Indigo produced in this land ! (Places her hand on 

Nobin 1 s head}. 

(Enter Reboti.) 

Reboti. My mother ! Where shall I go ? What shall I do ? 
They have done what ! Why is it that through ill-fortune I 
brought her ? Having brought one of a strange caste, I am 
bec||ne unable to preserve propriety. My eldest Babu ! pre- 
serve me ; my life is on the point of bursting out. Bring me 
Khetromani ; bring me my puppet of gold. 

Sabitri. These destroyers can do all things. Ye are 
taking by force the pieces of ground of men, their grain, their 
kine and calves. By the force of clubs, ye are cultivating 
Indigo, and the people are doing your work with cries and 
sobbings. 

Reboti. My mother ! I am preparing the Indigo, taking 
only half the food. Those bigahs which they had marked, on 
them I worked. When Ray works, he weeps with deep sighs ; if 
he hear of this my work, he would become, as it were, insane. 

Nobin. Where is Sadhu now ? 

Reboti. He is sitting outside, and is weeping. 

Nobin. To a woman of good family, constancy in faith- 
fulness to her husband is, as it were, the loadstone ; and 
how very beautiful does she appear (ramaniki ramaniyd) 
when she is decorated with that ornament. Is a woman of a 
good family carried off, when the Bliima-like Svaropur of 
my father is still in existence ? At this very moment shall I 
go. I shall see what manner of injustice this is. The Indigo 
frog can never sit on the white waterlily-like constancy of 
a woman. 

(Exit Nobin Madhab.) 



52 NIL DARPAN, OR 

Sabitri. Chastity is the store of gold which is given by 
Providence ; it is so valuable that it makes the beggar 
woman, a queen. If you can rescue this jewel before it is 
soiled, from the hands of the Indigo monkey, then shall I 
say that you have actually answered the purpose of my being 
your mother. Such injustice I never heard of. Now, Ghose 
Bou, let us go out-side. 



THIED ^CT THIED SCENE. 

MR. ROSE'S CHAMBER. 

MR. ROSE sitting. Enter PODI MOYRANI & KHETROMANI. 

Khetra. My aunt, don't speak of such things to me ; I 
can give up my life, but my chastity never ; cut me in 
pieces, burn me in the fire, throw me into the water, and 
bury me under ground ; but as to touching another man that 
can I never do. What will my husband think ? 

Podi. Where is your husband now, and where are you ? 
This shall no one know. Within this night, I shall bring you 
back with me to your mother. 

Khetra. Very well, the husband may not know it but 
God above will know it, and I shall never be able to throw dust 
in his eyes. Like the fire of the brick-kiln it will still burn 
within my breast, and the more my husband shall love me for 
my constancy, the more my soul shall be tortured. Openly or 
secretly, I never can take a paramour. 

Podi. My child, come, come to the Saheb. Whatever you 
have to say, say to him. To speak to me is like crying in 
the wilderness. 

Planter Rose. To speak to me is throwing pearls at the 
hog's feet. Ha, ha, ha, we Indigo Planters, are become the 
companions of Death ; can our Factories remain, if we have 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 53 

pity ? By nature, we are not bad ; our evil disposition has 
increased by Indigo cultivation. Before, we felt sorrow in 
beating one man ; now, we can beat ten persons with the 
Ramkant (leather strap), making them senseless ; and im- 
mediately after, we can, with great laughter, take our dinner 
or supper. 

Torap. I will swim over the stream to my house, 
this night. What more shalt thou hear of my fate ; I 
broke down the window of the Attorney's stable, and im- 
mediately ran off to the Zemindary of Babu Bosonto, and 
therf^ in the night came to my wife and children. This 
Planter has stopped every thing; has he left any means 
for men to live by ploughing ? How very terrible are 
the thrusts of the Indigo ? Again, the advice is given to 
serve for it. Now, Sir, where are your kicks with your 
shoes on, and your beating on the head ? (Thrusts him 
with his knees}. 

Nobin. Torap, what is the use of beating him ? We ought 
not to be cruel, because they are so ; I am going. 

(Exit Nobin, with Khetromani.) 

Torap. Do you want to show such ill-usage and bad 
conduct? Speak to your old father and carry on your 
business by mutual consent ; how long shall your force of 
hand continue ? You shall not be able to do anything, when 
I shall fly. There is no abuse more horrid than to say, 
Die ! When your destiny shall decide, you shall have to enter 
the Factory of the Tomb. Just settle our eldest Babu's 
account of the last year ; and take what he consents to sow 
of Indigo in the present year. It is owing to you that 
they have fallen into a state of confusion. It is not merely 
to load one with advances, but cultivation is necessary. Good 
evening, our young Saheb. Now, I go. (Throws him about, 
lying on his back, and flies off.) 



54 XIL DARPAN, OR 

TRIED ACT FOUETH SCENE. 

THE HALL IN THE HOUSE OF GOLUK BOSK 



Enter SABITRI. 

Sabitri. (With a deep sigh.) O thou cruel Magistrate ! 
Why didst not thou also give me a summons ? I would have 
gone to the zillah with my husband and my child ; that 
would have been far better than remaining in this desert. 
Ah ! my husband always remains in the house, never goes 
out to another village even on invitation. Is he destined to 
suffer so much ? The peadahs taking him away, and he himself 
to go to the jail. Bhagavati, my mother ! was there so much 
in thy mind ? Ah ! he says, that he can never sleep, but 
in a room very long and broad ; he eats only the boiled 
Atapa rice ; * he takes the food prepared by no other hand 
but that of the eldest Bou. Ah ! he brought out blood out 
of his breast by severe slaps ; he made his eyes swollen 
by tears ; and at the same time, he took his leave, he said this 
is my going to the side of the Ganges*!* (iveeps). Nobin says, 
Mother call on Bhagavati. I must return home having 
gained my object and bring him home also. Ah ! the face of 
my son, like unto that of gold, is blackened ; what great 
troubles for the collection of money ! Wandering about with- 
out rest, his brain is become like a whirl-pool. Lest I give 
away the ornaments of the Bous, my son encourages me, 
saying, My mother, what want of money ? What large 
sum will be necessary for this case ? How shall my 
child grieve, if my ornaments be given in mortgage for our 
suit on small portions of land ! He says, as soon as I get a 
small sum of money, I shall immediately bring back the 

* When the rce is cleansed from its husks by being placed in the sun, 
instead of being boiled, it is called the Atapa rice, 
t That is, this is his last leave. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 55 

ornaments. My son has courage in his tongue and tears in 
his eyes. Ah ! he started with tears in his eyes. My dear 
Nobin, in this heat of the sun, went to Indrabad ; arid I, 
a great sinner, remained confined in my room. Is this the 
life thy mother spends ! 

Enter SOIRINDRI. 

Soirindri. Madam, it is now too late. Now bathe. It is 
our unfortunate destiny ; else, why shall such an occurrence 
come to pass ? 

Sabitri. (With tears.} No, my daughter, as long as my 
No^n does not return, I shall never give rice and water to 
my body. Who shall give food to my son ? 

Soirindri. His brother has a lodging house there, and 
they have a Brahmin ; there will be no disturbance. You 
had better come and bathe. 

Enter SARALOTA, with a cup of oil. 

Young Bou, you had better rub the oil on her body, and 
make her bathe, and bring her to the cook-room. Let me go 
to prepare the place. 

(Exit /Soirindri.) 

(Saralota rubs the oil on her mother-in-law's body.) 

Sabitri. My parrot * is become silent ; my daughter has 
no more words in her mouth ; she is faded like a stale 
flower. Ah ! ah ! for how long have I not seen Bindu Mad- 
hab? I am waiting in expectation that the College 
will be closed, and my son will come home. But this 
danger is come (applying her hand on Saralota 's chin). Ah ! 
the mouth of my dear one is dry, I think you have not 
yet taken any food. While I have fallen into this danger, 

* The word parrot here refers to Saralota. As the parrot is generally an 
object of fondness to persons, so Saralota was called a parrot, because she was 
much loved by her mother-in-law. 



56 NIL DARPAN, OR 

when shall I examine, whether any have taken their food or 
not. Let me bathe you, go and take some food. I am 

also going. 

(Exit loth.) 



FOUKTH ACT FIRST SCENE. 

THE CRIMINAL COURT OF INDRABAD. 



Enter MR. WOOD, C MR. ROSE, the Magistrate, and an 
Officer, sitting. GOLUK CHUNDER, NOBIN' MADHAB, 
BINDU MADHAB, the Attorneys of the Plaintiff ana the 
Defendant, the Agent, Nazir, a Bailiff, Servants, Ryots, &c., 
standing. 

Defendant's Attorney. May the prayer in this applica- 
tion be granted. (Gives the application to the Sheristadar.) 

Magistrate. Veiy well ; read it. (Speaks with Mr. 
Wood, and laughs.) 

Sheristadar. (To the Defendant's Attorney.) You have 
written here what equals the length of the Ramayan. Can 
the petition be read without its being in abstract ? (Turns to 
another page of the application). 

Magistrate. (Having spoken with Mr. Wood, and con- 
cealing his laughter). Read clearly. 

Sheristadar. In the absence of the defendant and his 
attorneys, the evidence is already taken from the witnesses of 
the plaintiff. We pray that the witnesses of the plaintiff be 
again called. 

Plaintiffs Attorney. My Lord, it is true that attorneys 
are given up to lying, deceiving, and forgery ; they easily 
forge and tell lies, and are incessantly engaged in immoral 
actions. They lead astray married women ; and then they 
themselves enjoy their houses and every thing else. The 
Zemindars hate the attorneys ; but for the effecting their 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 57 

special purposes, they call them, and give them a seat on 
their couch. My Lord, the very profession of the attorneys is a 
cheating one. But the attorneys of the Indigo Planters can never 
deceive. The Indigo Planters are Christians ; falsehood is ac- 
counted a great sin in the Christian Religion. Stealing, licen- 
tiousness, murder, and other actions of that nature are also 
looked upon aS hateful in that religion not taking evil actions 
into consideration, even forming evil designs in the mind 
dooms a man to burn in the fire of Jiell. The main aim of 
the Christian Religion is to show kindness, to forgive, to be 
niil^| and to do good unto others ; so, it is by no means pro- 
bable that the Indigo Planters, who follow such a true and 
pure religion, ever give false evidence. My Lord, we do 
serve such Indigo Planters ; we have reformed our character 
according to theirs, and even, if we desire, we can, by no 
means, teach the witness anything false ; since if the Sahebs, 
the lovers of truth, find the least fault in their servants, 
they punish them according to the rules of justice. The Amin 
of the Factory, the witness of the defendant, is an example 
of that. Because he deprived the ryot of his advances, the 
kind Saheb drove him from his office ; and being angry on ac- 
count of the cries of the poor ryot, he also beat him severely. 

Wood the Planter. (To the Magistrate.) Extreme provo- 
cation ! Extreme provocation ! 

Plaintiffs Attorney. My Lord, many questions were put 
to my witnesses ; had they been witnesses who were prepared 
ones (perjured) they would have been caught by those 
very questions. The lawyers have said, " The Judge is as the 
advocate of the defendant," consequently the questions to be 
put by the defendant, are already asked by your Honour. 
Therefore, there is no probability of any advantage to the de- 
fendant, if the witnesses be brought here again ; but on the 
other hand, it will prove very disadvantageous to them. 
Honored Sir, the witnesses are poor people who live by hold- 

I 



58 NIL DARPAN, OB 

ing the plough. By the plough they maintain their wives 
and children ; their fields become ruined if they do not re- 
main there for the whole day ; so much so, that because it 
proves a loss to them if they come home, their wives bring 
boiled rice and refreshments bound in handkerchiefs to them 
in the fields, and make them eat that. It proves an entire 
loss to the ryots to come away from the fields' for one day ; 
and at such a time, if they be brought to such a distant 
part of the zillah by summons, then the labours of the whole 
year will go for nothing. Honored Sir, Honored Sir, do as 
you think just. 

Magistrate. I don't see any reason for that ( as advised by 
Mr. Wood). There seems no necessity for that. 

Defendant's Attorney. My Lord, the ryots of no village 
take the advances of the Indigo Planters with their full 
consent. The Indigo Planter, accompanied by the Amins and 
servants, or his Dewan, goes on horse-back to the field, marks off 
the best pieces of land, and orders the preparation of the Indigo. 
Then the owner of the land brings the ryots to the Factory, 
and having made known to them the particulars of the 
matter, takes their signatures for the advances. The ryots, 
taking the money in advance, come home with tears in 
their eyes ; and the day on which any of them comes home 
with the money, his house, becomes filled, as it were, with 
the tears of persons weeping for the death of a relative or 
friend. On the payment of the Indigo to the Indigo Planter, 
even if the latter have something still to pay to the farmers 
above the sum of the advances as the price of that 
article, yet they keep it in their Account-books that the farm- 
ers have still something to pay. The ryots, when they have 
once taken the advance, will suffer pain for not less than 
seven generations. The sorrow which the ryots endure in the 
preparation of the Indigo is known only to themselves and 
the Great God, the Preserver of the poor. Whenever some sit 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 59 

together, they converse about the advances and inform each 
other of their respective sums ; and also try how to save them- 
selves. They have no necessity for forming plans and mutually 
taking the advice of each other. Of themselves they are be- 
come as mad as the dog who received a blow on the 
head. The witnesses gave evidence that the ryots were 
willing to prepare Indigo ; but that the person who has en- 
gaged me had, by advice and intimidation, stopped their en- 
gaging in the preparation of Indigo. This is a very striking 
and an evident forgery. Honored Sir, once more bring them 
before the Bench, and your servant will by two questions dis- 
close the falsity of their evidence. I do acknowledge, that Nobin 
Madhab Bose, the son of Goluk Chunder Bose, who engaged 
me, tried his utmost to extricate the helpless ryots from the 
hands of the giant-like Indigo Planters. I do acknowledge 
this. He also proved himself successful in stopping the 
tyranny of Mr. Wood ; which is known fully by the case 
which was brought here for the burning of the village of 
Polaspore. But Goluk Chunder Bose is of a very peaceful 
character ; he fears the Indigo Planters more than the tigers, 
never engages in any quarrels ; at no time injures another, and 
even is not courageous enough to save another from danger. 
My Saheb, that Goluk Chunder Bose is a man of a good 
character, is known to all persons in the zillah, and can be 
known even by enquiring of the Amlas of the Court. 

Goluk. Honored Sir, the whole sum due for my Indigo of 
the last year was not paid ; still only through fear of coming 
into Court, I consented to take the advance for sixty bigahs of 
land. My eldest son said, "Father, we have other ways of 
living ; the loss in Indigo for one year or two might stop feasts 
and religious ceremonies, but will not produce want of food. 
But those who entirely depend on their ploughs ; what means 
have they ? Losing this case if we be obliged again to en- 
gage in the Indigo cultivation, all will be obliged to do the 



60 NIL DARPAN, OR 

same afterwards." He said this is a wise man ; and conse- 
quently I told him to make the Saheb, by entreaties and sup- 
plications, to agree to fifty bigahs. The Saheb said nothing, 
neither Yes nor No ; and secretly made preparations to bring 
me in my old age, to gaol. I know that the only way to get 
happiness is to keep the Sahebs contented ; the country is the 
Saheb's, the Judges are their brothers and friends ; and is it 
proper to do anything against them? Extricate me, and I 
make this promise, that if I cannot prepare the Indigo 
from want of ploughs and kine, I will annually give the 
Saheb Co.'s Us. 100 in the place of that. Am I a person to 
tutor the ryots ? Do I meet them? 

Defendant's Attorney. Honored Sir, of the four ryots who 
came as witnesses, one is of the Tikiri caste ; he has no 
knowledge of what a plough is ; he has no lands and no rents 
to pay ; has no kine and no cow-house ; and this can be best 
known by proper examination. Kanai Torofdar is a ryot of 
a different village ; and as to our Babu he has no acquaintance 
with him. For these reasons we do pray that these men be 
brought again. The legislators have said, before the decision, 
the defendant ought to be supplied with all proper means. 
Saheb, if this my prayer be granted, I shall have no more 
reasons for complaint. 

Plaintiff's Attorney. Saheb. 

Magistrate. (Writes a letter.} Speak, speak ; I am not 
writing from hearsay. 

Plaintiff's Attorney. Saheb, if at this time, the ryots be 
brought here they will suffer great loss ; else, I, also, would 
have prayed for their being brought here again, since the 
offences of the defendant which are already proved, may 
receive stronger confirmation. Sir, the bad character of 
Goluk Chunder Bose is known throughout the country; 
he who benefits him, in return, receives injuries. The 
Indigo Planters crossing the immeasurable ocean have come 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. Cl 

to this land, and have brought out its secret wealth ; have 
done great benefit to the country, have increased the royal 
treasure, and have profited themselves. What place, besides 
the prison, can best befit a person who thus opposes the great 
actions of these noble men. 

Magistrate. ( Writes the address.) Chaprasi ! 

Chaprasi. Sir ! (Gomes to the Saheb.) >> 

Magistrate. (Advises with Mr. Wood.) Give this to Mrs. 
Wood. Tell the Khansamah, the Saheb, who is come here, 
will not go to-day. 

Sheristadar. Sir, what orders are to be written I 

Magistrate. Let it remain within the Nathi or Court 
documents. 

Sheristadar. ( Writes.} It is ordered that it remains within 
the Nathi (signed by the Magistrate). Saheb, thou hast not 
yet made a signature on the orders to the reply of the 
defendant. 

Magistrate. Read it. 

Sheristadar. It is ordered, that the defendant is to give 
Co.'s Rs. 200, or two persons as security, and that the subpoenas 
be sent to the truthful witnesses. (The Magistrate gives the 
signature}. 

Magistrate. Bring the case of the robbery in Mirghan to 
the Court to-morrow. 

(Exit Magistrate, Mr. Wood, Mr. Rose, 

Chaprasi, and Bearers.) 

Sheristadar. Nazir, take the security-bond from the 
defendant properly. 

(Exit sheristadar, agent, the plaintiff's 

attorney, the ryots.) 

Nazir. (To the Defendant's Attorney.) How can we write 
now, while it is evening ; moreover, I am somewhat busy 
now. 



62 NIL DARPAN, OR 

Defendant's Attorney. The name is great, but in property 
there is nothing (speaks with the Nazir.) This money they 
will give by selling the ornaments. 

Nazir. I have no estates, have no trade nor lands for cul- 
tivation. This is my whole stock. It is for your sake 
only that I have agreed to take Rupees 1 00. Let us go to our 
lodging. Be careful that the Dewan does not hear this- 
Have not they got something as their own. 

(Exit all.) 



FOUKTH ACT SECOND SCENE.r 

INDRABAD, THE DWELLING of BINDU MADHAB. 

NOBIN MADHAB, BINDU MADHAB, and SADHU sitting. 

Nobin. I am now obliged to go home. My mother will 
die as soon as she hears of this. What more shall I do now 
for you? See that our father does not suffer great sorrow. I 
have now determined on leaving our habitation. I shall sell 
off everything, and send the money. Whoever wants any 
sum, I will give him that. 

Bindu. The Darogah does not want money ; only, for fear 
of the Magistrate, he does* not allow the cooking Brahmin to 
be taken there. 

Nobin. Give him money and also entreat him. Ah ! His* 
body is old ; he has been without food for three days ! I 
explained to him, and entreated him greatly. He says, 
" Nobin, let three days pass and then shall I think, whether I 
shall take foqd or not ; within these three days, I shall not 
take any thing." 

Bindu. I do not find any means, how I can be able to 
make my father take some boiled rice. The hand which he 

* This pronoun refers to the father of Nobin. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 63 

has placed on his eyes from the time when the Magistrate, 
the slave of the Indigo Planters, ordered him to be kept in 
the prison, that hand he has not yet removed. The hand 
is filled with the tears; and the place where he was made to 
sit down at first, is still that where he now is. Being entire- 
ly silent, and remaining weak in body and without power 
to move, he is become like a dead pigeon in this cage- 
like prison. This day is the fourth, and to-day I nrust make 
him take food. You had better go lnjine, and I shall send a 
letter every day. 

Nyfrin. O God, what great sorrow art thou giving to our 
father ! If they do allow you, my dear Bindu, to remain day 
and night in the prison ; then can I quietly go to our house. 

Sadhu. Let me steal, and you bring me before the Court 
as a thief. I will make the confession ; they will put me in 
prison ; then I will be best able to serve my master. 

Nobin. Sadhu ! Thou art the actual Sadhu (the honest 
man). Ah ! you are now very sorry on learning the deadly 
sorrow of Khetromani ; and the sooner I can take you home* 
the better. 

Sadhu. (Deep sigh.) My eldest Babu ! Shall I see my 
daughter on my return. I have none other. 

Bindu. If you make her take that draught which I gave 
you, she must be cured by that. The Doctor heard every 
particular of her disease, and has given that medicine. 

Enter the Deputy Inspector. 

D. Inspector. Bindu -Babu, Mr. Commissioner has written 
very urgently about releasing your father. 

Bindu. There is no doubt the Lieutenant-Governor will 
grant him release. 

Nobin. After what time can the notice of the release 
come ? 

Bindu. It will not be more than fifteen days. 



64s NIL DARPAN, OR 

D. Inspector. The Deputy Magistrate of Amaranagara 
gave an order of imprisonment for six months to a certain 
Mooktyar according to this law ; but he had to remain for 
sixteen days in the gaol. 

Nobin. Shall such a time ever come, that the Governor, 
becoming friendly, destroy the evil desires of the unfriendly 
Magistrate ? 

Bindu. There is a God, the Lord of the Universe ; and he 
must do it. Sir, you Jiad better start, for there is a long way 
to go. 

(Exit Nobin, Bindu, and Sa^hu.) 

D. Inspector. Alas ! The two brothers, burnt up by these 
anxieties, have, as it were, become dead, while living. The 
order of release from the Lieutenant-Governor will be as the 
restoration of life to them. Babu Nobin Chunder is of a 
brave spirit, does good to others, is very munificent, a great 
improver of learning, and also of a patriotic mind ; but the 
mist of the cruel Indigo Planters withered all his good 
qualities in the bud. 

Enter the Pundit of the College. 

Welcome, Sir ! 

Pundit. My body is naturally somewhat of a warm na- 
ture. I cannot bear the sunshine. The heat of the sun 
makes me, as it were, mad in the months of March, April, 
and May. I had a very severe head-ache for a few days ; and 
was not able to attend Bindu Madhab at all. 

D. Inspector. The Vishnu Toila (a kind of oil) can do you 
some good. The oil is prepared for Babu Vishnu, and to- 
morrow I shall send some to your house. 

Pundit. I am much obliged to you for that. A man of 
a healthy constitution becomes mad by teaching children ; 
such am I. 

D. Inspector. Why don't we see our elder Pundit any more? 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 65 

Pundit. He is now trying some means to leave this 
doggish service. While his good son is making some acqui- 
sition of property, the family will be maintained like that of 
a King. It does not seem good for him now to go to and 
come from the College looking with his books under his arm 
like a bull bound to the cart. He is now of age. 

Re-enter BINDU MADHAB. 

Bindu. The Pundit is come. * 

Pundit. Did the sinful creature show so much injustice 1 
You^d not hear it ; at Christmas he spent ten days conti- 
nually in that Factory. The ryot is to have justice from him ! 
Can the Hindu celebrate his religious services before the 
Kazi (the Mahomedan judge). 

Bindu. The decree of Providence. 

Pundit. Whom did you appoint as Muktyar ? 

Bindu. Prandhan Mullik. 

Pundit. Why did you appoint him as your Muktyar ? 
It would have been better if you had engaged some other 
person. " All Gods are equal. To make a separation from 
the wicked, the village becomes empty." * 

Bindu. The Commissioner has made a report to the 
Government recommending the release of my father. 

Pundit. One is ashes and so is the other as is the 
Magistrate such is the Commissioner. 

Bindu. Sir, you know not the Commissioner ; and, there- 
fore, you spoke thus of him. The pommissioner is very 
impartial, and is always desirous of the improvement of the 
natives. 

Pundit. Whatever that be ; now if, through the blessing 
of God, your father be released, then all shall be well. In 
what condition is he in the gaol ? 

* This is a proverb, signifying you cannot separate the tares from wheat. 

K 



66 NIL DARPAN, OR 

Bindu. He is shedding tears day and night, and for 
the last three days has taken no food. Just now I shall 
go to the gaol, and shall make him happy by giving him 
this good news. 

Enter a Chaprasi. 
Art thou a chaprasi of the gaol ? 

Chaprasi. Sir, come quickly to the gaol. The Darogah 
has called you. 

Bindu. Have you seen my father this day ? 
Chaprasi. Come, Sir. I cannot say anything. 
Binda. Come, Sir (to the Pundit). I don't suppose all 
good. I go. 

(Exit Binda Madhab and Chaprasi.) 

Pundit. Yes ; let us all-go. I think some bad accident 
has taken place. 

(Exit loth.) 



FOURTH ACT THIRD SCENE. 

THE PRISON-HOUSE OF INDRABAD. 



The, dead body of Ooluk Chunder swinging, bound by his 

outer garment twisted like a rope ; the Darogah of the 

Gaol and the Jamadar sitting. 

Darogah. Who is gone to call Babu Bindu Madhab ? 

\Tamadar. Manirodi is gone there. Till the Doctor 
comes, we cannot bring it down. 

Darogah. Did not the Magistrate say, he will come here 
this day ? 

Jamadar. No, Sir, he has four days more to come. At 
Sachigunge on Saturday, they have a Champagne-party and 
ladies' dance. Mrs. Wood can never dance with any other, 
but our Saheb ; and I saw that, when I was a bearer. Mrs. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 67 

Wood is very kind : through the influence of one letter, she 
got me the Jamadary of the Jail. 

Darogah. Ah ! The father of Babu Bindu Madhab 
expressed great sorrow at his not getting food. When Babu 
Bindu sees this, he will quit life. 

Enter BINDU MADHAB. 

All things are by the will of God. 

Bindu. What is this ! What is this ! Ah ! ah ! My father 
is dead while bound above ground with*a rope ! I was coming 
to try some means for his release. What sorrow ! (places his 
owi'Mhead on the breast of the dead body, then clasps the 
corpse, and weeps}. Oh father ! Hast thou at once broken the 
ties of affection, towards us ? Shalt thou no more praise 
Bindu before other men for his English education ? Calling 
Nobin Madhab by the name of " Bhima* of Svaropur ;" is 
that now put at an end ? You have now made a treaty with 
Bipin (the son of Nobin) with whom you always had a 
quarrel, saying to the eldest Bou, " My mother, my mother." 
Ah ! as in the case of a heron and its mate, with their 
young ones flying in the air, in search of food, if the heron be 
killed by a fowler, the mate with her young ones falls into 
great danger, so shall my mother be when she hears of your 
being put to death, while hung above ground by a rope. 

Darogah. (Bringing Babu Bindu aside by taking Jwld 
of his hands.*) Babu Bindu do not be so impatient now. Get 
the permission of the Doctor, and try to take the corpse 
soon to the Amritaghata. 

Enter Deputy Inspector and the Pundit, 

Bindu,. Darogah, do not speak of anything to me. 
Whatever consultation you have to make, make that with 
the Pundit and the Deputy Inspector. Through sorrow, I 

* Bhima or Brikadar was the .second brother of Yudliistira and the second 
son of Pandu. 



68 NIL DARPAN, OR 

have lost the power of speech ; let me take my father's 
feet once on my breast. (Sits up, taking the feet of Goluk 
on his breast.) 

Pundit (To the Deputy Inspector?) Let me take 
Bindu Madhab on my lap ; you had better unloose the rope. 
It is never proper to keep such a godly body in this hell. 

Darogah. It will be necessary to wait for a short time. 

Pundit. Are you the chowkidar of hell, else why have 
you such a character?,. 

Daroga. Sir, you are wise, you are reproaching me. 

Enter the Doctor. ** 

Doctor. Ho ! Ho ! Bindu Madhab ! God's will. The Pundit 
is come. Bindu must not leave the College. 

Pundit. It is not proper for Bindu to leave the College. 

Bindu. As to our estates and possessions, we have lost 
every thing ; at last, our father has left us beggars (weeps} ; 
how can studying be any more carried on ? 

Pundit. The Indigo Planters have taken away the all 
of Bindu Madhab arid his family. 

Doctor. I have heard of these Planters from the 
Missionaries and also I have seen them myself. Once as I 
was coming from a certain Planter's Factory at Matanagara, 
while I was sitting in a village, two ryots of the place 
were passing by the side of my palanquin ; one of 
them had some milk with him, which I wanted to 
buy. Immediately, one whispered to the other, " The 
Indigo giant, the Indigo giant." Then having left the 
milk, they ran off. I asked another ryot, and he said, 
that these persons ran off for fear of being compelled to take 
advances for Indigo ; and as I had taken the advance, what 
reason is there for going to his godown. I understood, he 
took me for a planter ; I gave the milk into that ryot's hand, 
and went away from the place. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 69 

D. Inspector. A certain Missionary was passing through a 
village within the concern of Mr. Vally. As soon as the 
ryots saw him, they began to cry aloud, " The Indigo ghost 
is come out, the Indigo ghost is come out ;" and having left 
that path, flew into their own houses. But as the ryots 
found, by and by, the bounty, mildness, and forgiving 
temper of these gentlemen, they began to wonder ; and as 
much as the Missionaries showed heartfelt sorrow for the tor- 
tures which the poor people suffered from the Indigo 
Planters, so much the more they began to love them, and to 
ha VA faith in them. Now the ryots say to each other, " All 
bamboos are of one tuft ; but of one is made the frame of the 
Goddess Durga, and of another the sweeper's basket." 

Pundit. Let us take away the dead body. 

Doctor. We must be sharp. You can bring it out. 

(Bindu Madhab and the Deputy Inspector loosening the 
rope bring out the corpse) 

(Exit all) 



FIFTH ACT FIKST SCENE. 

BEFORE THE OFFICE OF THE BAGHUNBARI FACTORY. 



Enter GOPINATH DAS and a Herdsman. 

Gopi. How did you get so much information ? 

Cowherd. We are their neighbours ; day and night, 
we go to their house. Whenever we are in want of any thing, 
either a little salt or a ladle of oil, we immediately go to them 
and bring it ; if the child cry, we bring a little molasses from 
them and give it ; we are getting our support for nearly 
seven generations from the Bose family ; and can't we 
get information about them ? 

Gopi. Where was Bindu Madhab married ? 

Coivherd. Oh, it is in a village to the west of Calcutta. 



70 NIL DARPAN, OE 

lu which they wanted to have the Kaistas* wear the poita. 
We cannot satisfy all the Brahmins now in existence in a great 
feast, and still they wanted to increase the number. The father- 
in-law of our young Babu is greatly respected. The Judge or 
Magistrate when they come to him take off their hats. 
Do such men give their daughters to men of these places ? 
Observing the improvements in learning made by our young 
Babu, they did not care about the village belonging to ryots. 
People say that the women in cities are showy, and 
that there is no distinction between those who live within 
the house and those who live in the bazar, f But WP. do 
not at all find a young woman of a mild temper as the Bou 
of the Bose family is. The mother of Goma goes to their 
house every day, still, although she has been married for 
nearly five years, she has never seen her face. We saw her 
only on that day when she came here. We thought 
that the Babus in the city keep company with the Euro- 
peans ; therefore they have brought their females into public 
like English ladies. 

Gopi But the Bou is always engaged in attending on 
her mother-in-law. 

Cowherd. Dewanji, what shall I say ? The mother of 
Goma says, I heard a report that, had not the youngest Bou 
been in the house when the news of Nobin being bound by the 
rope and thus killed came, the mistress of the family would 
have died. We heard also that the women in the city treat 
their husbands as sheep (slaves) and murder their parents by 
not giving them any support ; but observing this Bou, I now 
know that it is a mere report. 

Gopi. I think, the mother of Babu Nobin Chunder also 
loves her. 

* The writer class among the Natives of this country 
t Signifying the distinction between the women of a good and that of a 
licentious character. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 71 

Cowherd. I don't see any one in the world whom she 
does not love. Ah ! She is an Annapurnah* (full of rice). 
But have you kept the rice that she shall be full of it ?-f- The 
vile Planters have swallowed up the old man, and they are 
now on the point of swallowing up the old woman. 

Gopi'. Thou braggart fool, if the Saheb hear this; he will 
bring out your new moon.J 

Cowherd. What can I do ? Is it my desire to sit in 
the Factory and abuse the Sahebs ? 

Gopi. I am very sorry that I have destroyed this man 
of jjjQ&t honour by a false law-suit. I have also felt great 
pain on hearing of Nobiu's severe head-ache and the miser- 
able condition of his mother. 

Cowherd. It is the cold attacking a frog. Dewanji, 
don't be angry with me, I am as a mad goat ; shall I pre- 
pare the tobacco ? 

Gopi. This stupid fellow of Nanda's family is very senseless. 

Cowherd. The Sahebs are doing all : they themselves are 
blacksmiths and at the same time the cimeter ; where they 
make one to fall, there they themselves also fall. If 
ruin come upon these Sahebs' Factories, then the people of 
the villages save themselves by ba thing. || * .-' 

Gopi. You are very foolish. I don't want to hear any 
more ? Go out, the Saheb will come very soon. 

Cowherd. Now, I am going. You must attend to my 
milk bill, and also give me one rupi to-morrow. We shall 
go to bathe in the Ganges. 

(Exit Cowherd.) 

* This is one of the nnmes of Durga, meaning the goddess of Plenty. 

t Signifying, have you not taken away her whole possession ? Then, how 
can she show her pity by supporting the poor ? 

J That is, he will make every thing dark to you, as at the time of the 
new moon. In short, he will kill you. 

That is, nothing ; us the cold has no effect on the frog. 

|J That is, purify themselves by bathing. 



72 NIL DARPAN, OR 

Gopi. I think the thunder-bolt will strike this head, 
which is aching. No one will be able to stop the Saheb in 
sowing the Indigo seed on the sides of your tank. The 
Sahebs did something improper. These persons engaged 
themselves to sow Indigo on fifty bigahs of land, although they 
did not get the full price for the last year. Yet the Sahebs 
are not satisfied ; these disputes arose only for certain pieces 
of grounds ; and it would have been good for Nobin Bose 
to have given them the^e to keep the goddess Sitola* well- 
pleased is the best. Nobin will bite once more even after 
his death. (Seeing the Saheb at a distance). Here the wfc te- 
bodied man with a blue dress is coming. I think, I am 
to remain as a companion with the former Dewan for 
some days. 

Enter MR. WOOD. 

Wood. There will be a great quarrel at Matanagara : 
and all the latyals will be there. Let no one hear this ? 
For this place, make a collection of ten of the poda caste of 
(Surki) brickpowder makers or sellers. I, Mr. Rose, and 
you are to go there. The fool while he has taken his cachaf 
will not be able to increase the row greatly. He is sick ; 
then how can he go to bring assistance from the Darogah. 

Gopi. The extreme weakness to which these are reduced, 
makes it unnecessary to bring any surkiwalld among the 
Hindus, for a person to die with a rope round his neck, 
especially within a prison is very disgraceful ; so he is 
greatly punished by this occurrence. 



* Sitola is the goddess of the small-pox; and the meaning of the above is 
that if that goddess be kept satisfied, the disease of the sinall-pox cannot 
come; and if coine, will pass away. 

t This refers t^ Nobin Bose. The cacha signifies tho piece of cloth kept 
by the sons on the death of their parents for one month, when the pinda or 
offering to the dead is made. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 73 

Wood. You do not understand this. The rascal is become 
very happy on the death of his father. He took the ad- 
vances for a long time only through fear of his father ; 
now that fea,r is gone, and he will do as he likes. The 
rascal has given a bad name to my Factory, and I will im- 
prison him to-morrow and keep him along with Mojum- 
dar. If the Magistrate be of the same character with him 
of Amaranagara, the wicked people will be able to do every 
thing. , 

Gopi. With respect to what they planned about the case of 
Mo^imdar, I cannot say how very terrible it would have 
been, had not Nobin Bose fallen into this great danger. I 
cannot say what they still will do ? Moreover, as the 
Magistrate, who is coming, we have heard, is on the 
side of the ryots ; and when he comes to the villages, he 
brings along with him his tents. Observing this, we may say 
it might occasion great confusion, and also it is somewhat 
fearful. 

Wood. You are always puzzling me with speaking of 
fear ; the Indigo Planters, in nothing whatever, have any 
fear. If you don't desire it, leave your business, thou great 
fool ! 

Gopi. Sir, fear comes on good grounds. When the former 
Dewan was put in prison, his son came to ask for the 
last six months' salary of his father. On which you told him 
to make an application. Then, on his making the application, 
you again said the salary cannot be given before the accounts 
are closed. Honored Sir, is this the judgment on a servant 
when he is put in prison ? 

Wood. Did not I know this ? Thou stupid, ungrateful 
creature ! What becomes of your salaries ? If you did not 
devour the price of the Indigo, would there be any deadly 
Commission ? Would the poor ryots have gone to the 
Missionaries with tears in their eyes? You, rascal, have 

L 



74 NIL DARPAN, OR 

destroyed every thing. If the Indigo lessen in quantity, I 
shall sell your houses and indemnify myself ; thou arrant 
coward, hellish knave ! 

Gopi. Sir, we are like butcher's dogs : we fill our bellies 
with the intestines. Had you, Sir, taken the Indigo from 
the ryots in the very same way as the (Mahajans) factors take 
the corn from their debtors, then the Indigo Factories would 
never have suffered such disgrace ; there would have been 
no necessity for an ovejpeer and the khalasis, and the people 
would never have reproached me with saying " Cursed 
Gopi ! Cursed Gopi 1" ^ 

Wood. Thou art blind, thou hast no eyes. 

Enter an Umadar (an Apprentice). 

I have seen with my own eyes (applying his hand to his 
own eyes) the Mahajans go to the ricefield, and quarrel 
with the ryots (their debtors). Ask this person. 

Apprentice. Honored Sir, I can give many examples of 
that. The ryots say, it is through the grace of the Indigo 
Planters only that we are preserved from the hands of the 
Mahajans. 

Gopi. (Aside, to the Apprenticed) My child, it is vain 
flattery. No employment is vacant now. (To Mr. Wood) 
It is true that the Mahajans go to the rice-fields and dispute 
with the ryots ; but if your Honor had been acquainted 
with the mysterious intention of the Mahajans in going to 
the fields and raising disputes, you would never have com- 
pared with the going of the Mahajans to the fields, the 
punishment of the poor with Shamchand resembling the 
tortures which Lakhman, the son of Sumitra, suffered by 
the Sacti-sela,* while they are without food. 

* Lakhman was the brother of Rama. When they were gone to make 
war with Ravana of Lunka, (Ceylon) in a certain battle Lakhman suffered 
rery much by the Sacti-sela (the name of a superior engine in a battle). 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 75 

Wood. Very well, explain it to me. There must be some 
reason why these fools speak to us of every thing else ; but 
of the Mahajans they don't say a single word. 

GopL Honored Sir, these debtors, whatever sum of money 
they require for the whole year, they take from the Mahajans, 
and that quantity of rice which is necessary for them for 
that time, they also take from their creditors. At the end 
of the year, the debtors clear their debts either by selling the 
tobacco, sugar-cane, sesamum, and other things which they 
have, and then giving the sum collected to their creditors with 
the_ interest on the sum for the time ; or by giving those very 
articles according to the market price : and of the corn 
which grows, they send to the Mahajans' houses, a part half- 
prepared. That which remains proves sufficient for the ex- 
penses of the family for three or four months. If through 
famine or any improper expenses of the debtors, there fall 
any arrears in their supplies, the remainder of the debt is 
carried into the new account-book. Then, by and by, the re- 
mainder is filled up. The Mahajans never bring an action 
against their debtors ; consequently the falling into arrears 
appears to them, as it were, a present loss. I suppose 
the Mahajans for that reason, sometimes go to the fields, 
observe the preparation of the rice and also enquire 
whether the extent of land for which the debtors 
have asked the revenue from them, is all cultivated 
with grain. Some inexperienced persons, taking under 
false pretences a larger sum than is necessary, and thus being 
burdened with heavy debts, cause losses on the part of the 
Mahajans and also themselves suffer great trouble. The Maha- 
jans go to the fields for stopping these, and not like " Indigo 
Giants" (strikes his tongue}* Sir, the stupid, shameless 
Mahajans speak thus. 

* This is a sign of shame or fear. 



76 NIL DARPAN, OR 

Wood. I see, Saturn * has come upon you to your des- 
truction ; else why art thou become so very inquisitive, and 
why so presumptuous, you stupid, incestuous brute ? 

Gopi. Sir, we are made to swallow abuse, to submit to 
shoe-beating, and also we are the men to go to the Shrighurf* 
(the prison) ; the men should there be a dispensary or school 
in the Factory you get the credit ; should there be murders, 
we are the men. When I come to you for advice, you, Sir, 
become angry. That anxiety which I have felt for the 
law-suit of the Mojumdars, is only known to the Lord of all. 

Wood. The fool is such, that whenever I tell him ta do 
any action requiring courage, he brings to my ears the law-suit 
of the Mojumdar. I am saying always that thou art an ig- 
norant fool ; why don't you become satisfied with sending 
Nobin Bose to the godown of Sochigunge. 

Gopi. Thou, Sir, art the parent of this poor man ; it 
would be good, if for the benefit of thy poor servant, thou 
sendest him once to Nobin Bose to ask him about this case. 

Wood. Stop, thou upstart of a son. Shall I go to 
meet a dog for you ? You coward son of a Kaista^: (throws 
him down with kicks'). Were you sent as a witness to the Com- 
mission, you would have ruined every thing, you diabolical 
niggar (two kicks more) ; with such a tongue you shall do 
your work like a Caot, you stupid Kaet. Were it not for 
your work on to-morrow, I would send you to the jail. 

(Exit Mr. Wood and the Apprentice.) 

Gopi. ( Rubbing his body all over and rising up ). A 
person becomes the Dewan of an Indigo Planter after being 

* The planet Saturn is said to have a very bad influence. Whenever it 
comes upon one, the utter ruin of that persou is thought very near. 

f Ironically, the house of Prosperity. 

J The Kaista is the caste of writers. 

Caot is the name of a mean caste, and the word Kaet is only a common 
orm of expression for the term Kaista. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 77 

born a vulture* seven hundred times ; else, how are 
numberless stockings digested ?j- Oh ! what kickings ! Oh ! 
the fool is, as it were, the wife of a student who is out of 
College.} 

(Aside) Dewan, Dewan. 

Gopi. Your servant is present. Whose turn is it ? 

" In the sea of love are many waves." 

(Exit Gopi.) 



* 

FIFTH ACT SECOND SCENE. 
THE BEDROOM OF NOBIN BOSE. 

Aduri crying when preparing Nobin' s bed. 

Aduri. Ah ! ha ! ha ! where shall I go ? My heart is on 
the point of bursting. They have beaten him so Severely 
that the pulse is moving very slowly ; our mistress will die 
as soon as she sees this. When Nobin was taken by force to 
the Factory, they were tearing themselves and weeping under 
the shade of that tree ; but when brought towards our house, 
they did not see that. 

(Aaide.J We shall take him into the house. 

Aduri. Bring him into the house. None of them are here. 

Enter SADHU and TORAPA bearing the senseless Nobin 
on their shoulders. 

Sadhu. (Making Nobin Madhab to lie on the bed.) 
Madam, where art thou ? 

Aduri. They began to see, standing under the tree. 
When this person (pointing to Torapa) flew away with him, 
we thought he was taken to the Factory. They began to 

* The vulture is tnken for a detestable bird. 

t Signifying, else how can he bear so many kickings ? 

J This is said only in reference to his dress. 



78 NIL DARPAN, OR 

tear themselves under the tree. I came to the house to 
call certain persons. Will our mistress remain alive when 
she sees this dead son? Do you stand here; let me call them 
here. 

(Exit Aduri.) 

Enter the Priest. 

Priest. Oh God, hast thou killed such a man ! Hast thou 
stopped the provision of so many men ! We do not find any 
such symptom that our eldest Babu will sit up again. 

Sadhu. God's will. He can give life to a dead man^ 

Priest. On the third day, Bindu Babu, according to the 
Shastras, celebrated the offering of the funeral cake(pindaddri) 
on the banks of the Ganges ; it is only through the entreaties 
of his mother that preparations are being made for the monthly 
ceremony (shradh). It was determined that after the cele- 
bration of the ceremony, their dwelling place is to be 
removed ; and I also heard that they will no more meet with 
that cruel Saheb ; then why did he go there to-day ? 

Sadhu. Our eldest Babu has no fault, nor has he any 
want of judgment. "Our madam and the eldest Bou forbad 
him many times. They said, " During the days we are 
to remain here, we will bathe with the water of the well, or 
Aduri will bring the water from the tank ; we shall have no 
trouble." The eldest Babu said " With a present of 50 Rupis, 
I shall fall at the Saheb's feet, and thus stop the cultivation 
of the Indigo on the side of the tank, and shall speak nothing 
of the dispute in such a dangerous time." With this inten- 
tion our eldest Babu took me and Torap with him, and going 
there with tears in his eyes, said to the Saheb, " Saheb, I bring 
you a present of 50 Rupis ; only for this year, stop the 
cultivation of the Indigo in this place : and if this be not 
granted, take the money, and delay that business only till the 
time when the ceremony is to be performed." There is sin 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 79 

even in repeating the answer which the wretch gave, and the 
hairs of our body stood on an end. The rascal said, " Your 
father was hung in the jail of the Yabans* with thieves and 
robbers ; therefore keep your money for the sacrifice of many 
bulls which are necessary for his ceremony." Then placing his 
shoe on one of the eldest Babus knees, he said " This is the 
gift for your father's ceremony." 

Priest. Narayan! Narayan.f (Placing his hand on his 
ears). ^ 

Sadhu. Instantly the eyes of the eldest Babu became 
red ^Lke blood, his whole body began to tremble, he bit his 
lips with his teeth and then remaining silent for a short time 
gave the Saheb a hard kick on the breast, so that he fell 
on the ground upside down like a bundle of bena (a certain 
grass). Kes Dali, who is now the jamadar of the Factory, and 
other ten surkiola immediately stood round him. The eldest 
Babu had once saved these from the hands of robbers ; so they 
felt a little ashamed to raise their hand against him. Mr. Wood 
gave a blow to the jamadar, took the stick out of his hand 
and smote with it the head of the eldest Babu. The head 
was cracked, and he fell down senseless on the ground ; I tried 
much, but was not able to go into that crowd. Torapa. was 
observing this from a distance : and as soon as the men 
stood round the eldest Babu, he with violence rushed into 
this crowd like an obstinate buffalo, took him up, and 
flew off. 

Torapa. I was told " to stand at a distance, lest they take 
me away by force." The fools hate me very much ; do I 
hide myself when there is a tumult ? If I had gone a little 
before, I would have brought the Babu safe, and would have 
sacrificed two of those rascals in the Durgah of Borkat Bibi 

* This term Yabans has reference to the Mahomedans, the Europeans, 
t The name of Vishnu, God. 



80 NIL DARPAN, OB 

(the temple of Benediction). My whole body is shrunk on ob- 
serving the head of the Babu ; then, when shall I kill 
these? Oh ! oh ! the eldest Babu saved me so many times, 
but I was not able to save him once. (Beats his forehead 
and cries.) 

Priest. I see a wound from a weapon on his breast. 

Sadhu. As soon as Torapa rushed into the crowd, the 
young Saheb struck the Babu with the sword. Torapa saved 
the Babu by placing^ his hand in front of his own, which 
was cut, and there was the sign of a slight bruise on the 
Babu's breast. 

Priest. (Deeply thinking for some time, reads). 

" Man knows this for certain, that understanding and 
goodness are necessary in the friend, the wife, and in 
servants." I do not see a single person in this large house ; 
but a person of a different caste and of another village, is 
weeping near the Babu. Ah ! the poor man is a day-laborer, 
and his very hand is cut off. Why is his face all daubed 
over with blood ? 

Sadhu. When the young Saheb struck his hand with 
the sword, like an ichneumon making a noise when its 
tail is cut off, he in agony from the pain of his hand 
flew off after seizing with a bite the nose of the elder 
Saheb. 

Torapa. That nose I have kept with me, and when the 
Babu will rise up alive again I will show him that ( shows 
the nose cut off). Had the Babu been able to fly off himself, 
I would have taken his ears ; but I would not have killed 
him, as he is a creature of God. 

Priest. Justice is still alive. The Gods were saved from 
the injustice of Ravana, when the nose of Surpanaka was 
cut off : shall not the people be saved from the tyranny 
of the Indigo Planters by the cutting off of the elder 
Saheb's nose ? 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 81 

Torapa. Let me now hide myself ; I shall fly off in the 
night. That fool will overturn the whole village on account 

of his nose. 

(Exit Torapa bowing down twice on the 

earth near Nobin Madhab' s bed.) 

Sadku. So very weak is our madam become by the 
death of her husband, that there is no doubt she will die, when 
she sees Babu Nobin in this condition. I applied so much 
water, rubbed my hand over the head,so long ; but nothing 
is bringing him to his senses again. You, Sir, call him once. 
Finest. Eldest Babu ! Eldest Babu ! Nobin Madhab ! 
( with tears in his eyes ) Guardian of ryots ! Giver of food ! 
moving his eyes now ! Ah ! The mother will die immediately. 
When she heard of his being bound with ropes above ground, 
she resolved not to take the rice of this sinful world for ten 
days. This is the fifth ; this morning, Nobin Madhab taking 
hold of her shoulders shed much tears and said, " Mother, 
if thou dost not take food this day, then I shall never 
take the rice with the clarified butter ; thus placing the sin 
of disobedience to the mother on my head ; but shall re- 
main without food/' On which the mother kissing her son 
Nobin, said, " My son, I was a queen, now am I become- the 
mother of a king. I would never have been sorry, had I once 
been able to place his* feet on my head at the time when 
he departed this life. Did such a virtuous person die an 
inauspicious death ? It is for this reason that I am remain- 
ing without food. Ye are the children of this poor woman ; 
looking on you and Bindu Madhab, I shall, this day, take 
for my food the orts of our reverend priest. Do not shed 

your tears before me." 

(Aside, cries of sorrow.) 
Coming. 

* This pronoun " his" stands for Goluk Chunder, the father of Nobin 
Madhab. 



82 NIL DARPAN, OK 

Enter SABITRI, SOIRINDRI, SARALOTA, ADURI, REBOTI, 
the Aunt of Nobin, and other ivomen of the neighbour- 
hood. 

There is no fear, he is still alive. 

Sabitri. (Observing Nobin . on the point of death.) 
Nobin Madhab ! my son, my son, my son, where, where, 
where art thou ! Oh ! Alas ! 

(Falls senseless.) 

Soirindri. (With tears in her eyes.) Oh young Bout 
take hold of our mother-in-law ; let me once see the Lord 
of my life, in the fulness of my heart. (Sits near the mouth 
of Nobin.) 

Priest. (To Soirindri.) My daughter, thou art a great 
lover of thy husband, a woman of constancy ; the frame of 
thy body was created in a good moment. For one who is so 
entirely devoted to her husband, and who has every thing 
good on her part, Fortune may give life to her husband again ; 
he is moving his eyes, serve him without fear. Sadhu, remain 
here till our madam be in her senses. 

(Exit Priest.) 

Sadhu. Just see and place your hand on her nose. The 
body is become stiffer than that of a dead body. 

Saralota. (Speaking slowly to Reboti, after placing the 
hand on the nose.) Her breathing is full, but the fire com- 
ing out of the head is so very intense that my throat, as it 
were, burns. 

Sadhu. Has the Gomastah (head clerk) fallen into th e 
hands of the Sahebs while he is gone to bring the physician ? 
Let me go to the lodging-house of that physician. 

'(Exit Sadhu.) 

Soirindri. Ah ! Ah, my Lord ! that mother for whose 
abstinence from food thou hast grieved so much ; that mother, 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 83 

for whose weakness thou hadst served her feet ; that mother, 
who for some days was, by no means, able to sleep without 
placing thee in her lap, that very same dear mother is now 
lying senseless before thee, and thou art not seeing her once 
(seeing jSabitri). As tJie cow losing her young one wanders 
about with loud cries, then being bit by a serpent falls down 
dead on thejield ; so the mother is lying senseless on the 
ground being grieved for her dear son. My Lord open thine eyes 
once more ; call thy maid-servant* once more with thy sweet 
voice and thus satisfy her ears onca . ifie sun of happiness 
has set at noon for me; what shall my Bipin do 1 (With tears 
in hW eyes falls upon the breast of Nobin Madhab.) 

Saralota. Ye who an here take hold of our sister. 

Soirindri. (Rising up). I became an orphan while very 
young ; it is for this death-like Indigo that my father was 
taken to the Factory, and he returned no more. That 
place became to him 'the residence of Yama (Death). My 
poor mother took me to the house of my maternal uncle, and 
there through grief for her husband, she bade adieu to the 
world. My uncles preserved me ; I remained like a flower 
accidently let fall from the hand of the gardener. My Lord 
took me up with love and increased my honour. I forgot the 
sorrow for my parents, and in the life of my husband my 
parents were, as it were, revived (deep sigh). All my griefs 
are rising up anew in my mind. Ah ! If I be deprived of 
that husband who keeps every thing under the shade of 
his protection, I shall again become the same helpless orphan. 

Nobin' s Aunt. (Raising her with the hands}. What fear 
my daughter ? Why become so full of anxiety ? A letter 
is sent to Bindu Madhab to bring a doctor. He will be 
cured when the doctor comes. (Falls down upon the 
ground. ) 

* The term maid-servant here refers to Soiriudri, tho wife of Nobin 
MadLab. 



84 NIL DAEPAN, OR 

SoirindrL My aunt-in-law, wliile I was a girl I made a 
celebration of a certain religions observance ; and placing 
my hands on the Alpana* (the white-washing prepared for 
the festival) prayed for these blessings : that my husband be 
like Rama, my mother-in-law like Kousalya, my father-in-law 
like Dasaratha, my brother-in-law like Lakshman. My aunt ! 
God gave me more than I prayed for. My husband is as Ra- 
ghunath (Rama) brave and a provider of his dependants ; my 
mother-in-law is as Kousalya. having a sweet speech and an 
earnest love for her sons' wives ; my father-in-law is always 
happy in saying Badhumata, Badhumata,-f and is the bright- 
ener of the ten sides.! Bindu Madhab, who surpasses the au- 
tumnal moon in purity, is dearer to me than was Lakshman- 
deva to Sita-devi. My aunt, all has taken place according to my 
desire ; only there is one in which I find some disagree- 
ment I am still alive. Rama is making preparations for going 
to the forests, but there is no preparation for Sita's going with 
him Ah ! he was so much grieved on the abstinence of his 
father ; again, he took the cacha for the celebration of his 
funeral ceremony ; but before that was done he is preparing 
to go up to heaven (to die.) (Looking on his face with a steady 
sight} Ah ! his lips are dry. Oh ! my friends and com- 
panions, call my Bipin at once from the school ; I shall once 
more (with weeping eyes) through his hands pour a little water 
of the Ganges into his dry mouth. (Places her mouth on that 
of his) 

* It is a general custom in this country to apply the alpaua on the floor 
nearly in all religious observances. 

t This term signifies the wife of one's son. 

J This expression, " the brightener of the ten sides " signifies that he did 
good wherever he went. The ten sides are the north, south, east, west, 
north-east, north-west, south-east, south-west, the top, and the under sides. 

The reference here is to the wanderings of Rama in the wilderness of the 
Deccan. The signification of the original is that while the husband Nobin is 
he on the point of death, there is no preparation for hia wife to die with him. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 85 

All at once. Ah ! Ah ! 

Nobin s Aunt. (Takes hold of her body and raises her.") 
My daughter, do not speak such words now (weeps) ; 
if my sister were in her senses, her heart would have 
been burst. 

Soirindri Oh ! mother, my desire is that my husband be 
happy in a future state in the same proportion as he had 
suffered misery in this. My Lord, I your bond-maid will 
pray to God for life ; thou wast most virtuous, the 
doer of great good to others and the supporter of the 
ipo&L The Great Lord of the Universe, who provides for 
the helpless, must give you a place. Ah ! take me, 
my Lord, with thee, that I may supply thee, with the 
flowers for the worship of God. " Ah ! what loss ! what 
ruin ! I see that Rama is going to the wilderness leaving 
his Sita alone. What shall I do? Where shall I go ? 
and how shall I preserve my life ? Oh friend of the 
distressed, Oh Romanath ! Oh Great Wealth of the 
woman, supply me some means in this distress, and pre- 
serve me. I see that Nobin Madhab is now being burnt in 
the fire of Indigo. Oh, Lord of the distressed ! Where is 
my husband going now, making me unfortunate and without 
support," (placing her hand on the breast of Nobin, and 
raising a deep sigh). The husband now takes leave of his 
family, having placed all at the feet of God. Oh Lord, thou 
who art the sea of mercy, the supporter of the helpless, now 
give safety, now save ! 

Saralota. Sister, our mother-in-law has opened her eyes ; 
but is looking on me with a distorted countenance, (weeping). 
My sister, our mother-in-law never turned her face towards me 
with eyes so full of anger. 

Soirindri. Ah ! ah ! our mother-in-law loves Saralota so 
much, that it is through insensibility only that with such an 
angry face she had thrown this champa on the burning 



86 ^ NIL DARPAN, OR 

pot.* Oh my sister, do not weep now ; when our mother-in- 
law becomes sensible she will again kiss you and with great 
affection call you "the mad-woman's daughter." (Sabitri 
rises up and sits near Nobin ; and looking steadily on him, 
with certain expressions of pleasure). 

Sabitri. There is no pain so excessive as the delivery of 
a child, but that invaluable wealth which I have brought 
forth made me forget all my sorrows on observing its face 
{weeping}. Ah ! if Madam Sorrow did not write a letter to 
Yama (Death) and thus* kill my husband, how very much 
would he have been pleased on seeing this child. (Clasps 
with her hand). 

All at once. Ah ! ah ! she is become mad. 

Sabitri. Nurse, put the child once more on my lap ; let 
me pacify my burnt limbs. Let me once more kiss it in the 
name of my husband. (Kisses Nobin}. 

Soirindri. Mother, I am your eldest Bou ; do you not see 
me. Your dear Hama is senseless ; he is not able to speak now. 

Sabitri. It would speak when it shall first get rice. Ah, 
ah, had rny husband been living what great joy ! .How many 
musical performances ! (Weeps). 

Soirindri. It is misfortune upon misfortune ! Is my 
mother-in-law mad now ? 

Saralota. Take our mother-in-law from the bed, my sister; 
let me take care of her. 

Sabitri. Did you write such a letter, that there is no 
musical performance on this day of joy ? (Looking on all sides 
and having risen from the bed by force, then going to 
Saralota) I do entreat thee, falling at thy feet, madam, to send 
another letter to Yama, and bring back my husband for once. 
Thou art the wife of a Saheb ; else, why shall I fall at thy feet ? 

* That is, she liad expressed so much anger against her j or as the origi- 
nal, thrown her into the burning-pot of disgust and hatred. The Champa is 
the name of a fragrant yellow flower. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 87 

Saralota. My mother-in-law, thou lovest me more than a 
mother, and such words from your mouth have given me more 
pain than that of death. (Taking Jiold of the two hands of 
Sabitri) Observing this your state, my mother, fire is, as it 
were, raining on my breast. 

Sabitri. Thou strumpet, stupid woman, and a Yabana, 
why dost thou touch me on this eleventh day of the moon ?* 
(Takes of her oivn hand}. 

Saralota. On hearing such wor^s from your mouth I 
cannot live (lies down on the ground taldng hold of her 
tnGjfyer-in-law's feef). My mother, I shall take leave of this 
world at your feet. (Weeps). 

Sabitri. This is good, that the bad woman is dead. 
My husband is gone to heaven ; but thou shalt go to hell. 
(Claps with her hand and laughs). 

Soirindri. (Rising up}. Ah ! ah ! our Saralota is very 
good-natured. Now having heard harsh words from her 
mother-in-law, she is become exceedingly sorry ! (To Sabitri) 
Come to me, mother. 

Sabitri' Nurse, hast thou left the child alone ? Let me 
go there. (Goes to Nobin hastily, and sits near him). 

Eeboti. (To Sabitri). Oh my mother ! Dost thou call 
that young Bou a bad woman, who you said was incomparable 
in the village ; and without whose taking food you never took 
food. My mother, you do not hear my words ; we were 
trained by you, you gave us much food. 

Sabitri. Come on the Ata Couriaf of the child, and I 
shall give you many sweetmeats. 

Nobin' s Aunt. My sister, Nobin will be alive again ; do not 
be mad. 



* This day is kept sacred by the widows of this country. 
t A certain ceremony performed on the eighth day after the lirth for 
securing its goo<I fortune. 



88 NIL DARPAN, OR 

Sabitri. How did you know this ? That name is known to 
no one. My father-in-law said, when my daughter-in-law gets 
a child, I shall give it (if male) the name " Nobin Madhab." 
Now the child is born, I shall give it that name. My husband 
always said, When shall the child be born, and I shall call him 
by the name " Nobin Madhab" (weeps). If he had been 
alive, he would have satisfied that desire on this day. (Aside, 
a sound). There, the musicians are comiog. (Claps with her 
hands). , 

Soirindri. Bou, go into that room, the physician is 
coming. 4' 

Enter SADHU CHURN and the Physician. 

(Exit Saralota, Meboti, and all the neigh- 
bouring women ; and Soirindri, put- 
ting a veil on her head, stands in 
one side of the room.') 

Sadhu. Our madam has risen up. 

Sabitri. ( Weeps.) Is it because that my husband is not 
here that you have left your drums at home. 

Aduri. She has no understanding ; she is become 
entirely insane. She called that dead elder Haldar 
" My infant child," and chastised the young Haldar's wife, 
calling her an European's wife. That young woman is weep- 
ing severely. Again, she is calling you musicians. 

Sadhu. So great a misfortune has now come to pass ! 

Physician. (Sitting near Nobin). It is very probable 
and also according to the Nidana* that while she is not 
taking food for the death of her husband, and while she has 
seen this miserable condition of her dearest son, she should 
become thus. It is necessary to see her pulse one. Madam, 
let me observe they pulse once. (Stretching out his hand 
towards her). 

* A treatise on the scieae of medicine. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 89 

Sabitri. Thou vile man must be a creature of the 
Factory, else why dost thou want to take hold of the hand 
of the woman of a good family ? (rising up). Nurse keep 
your eyes upon the child ; I go to take a little water. I 
shall give you a silk sarhi. 

Physician. Ah ! the light of the understanding will not 
brighten again. I will send the Hima Sagara Toila (a medici- 
nal oil) which is now necessary for her (observing the pulse 
of Nobiii). His pulse is only very weak, but I do not find 
any other bad symptom. The doctors are ignorant in other 
matters, but in anatomical operations they are very expert 
The expense will be heavy, but it is of urgent necessity to 
call one in. 

Sadhu. A letter has been sent to the young Babu to 
come along with a doctor. 

Physician. That is very good. 

Enter Four Relatives. 

First. We never even dreamt that such an accident would 
come to pass. At noon-day, some were eating, some bathing, 
and some were going to lie down in their beds after 
dinner. I heard of it now. 

Second. The stroke on the head appears fatal. What 
ill-fated accident ! There was no probability of a quarrel on 
this day ; or else, many of the ryots would have been 
present. 

Sadhu. Two hundred ryots with clubs in their hands 
are crying aloud, " Strike off, Strike off, " and are weeping 
with these words in their mouths, " Ah ! eldest Babu ! Ah 
eldest Babu !" I told them to go to their own houses, since 
if the Saheb get the least excuse, he will, on account of the 
of the pain in his nose, burn the whole village. 

Physician. Now, wash the head and apply turpentine 
to it ; in the evening, I shall come again and try some other 

N 



90 NIL DARPAN, OR 

means. To make noise in a sick person's room is to increase 
his disease ; so, let there be no noise here. 

(Exit the Physician, Sadhu Churn and the 

relatives in one way, and Aduri, the other ; 

Soirindri sits down). The curtain falls. 



FIFTH ACT THIRD SCENE. 
THE BpOM OF SADHU CHURN. 



On one side, Khetromani in great torment on he^ bed, 
and Sadhu ; on the other side, Reboti, sitting. 

Khetro. Sweep over my bed ; mother, sweep over my bed ! 

Reboti. My dear, dear daughter, why art thou doing so ? 
I have swept on the bed ; there is nothing then on the coat 
of shreds. I have placed another which your aunt gave.* 

Khetro. Thorns are pinching me, I die ! I die ! Oh ! turn 
me to my father's side. 

Sadhu. (Silently turning her to the other side. To him 
self). This agony is the presage to death. (Openly) 
Daughter, thou art the precious jewel of this poor man ; my 
daughter, take a little food. I have brought some pome- 
granates from Indrabad, and also the ornamented sarhi ; 
but you did not at all express your pleasure when you saw 
that. 

Reboti. How very extravagant are my daugther's desires ! 
She said once, give me a flower garland at the time of Semon- 
ton. What is that countenance now become ? What shall I 
do ? Oh oh ! Oh oh ! (Places her mouth on the mouth 
of her daughter}. Ah ! my Khetro of gold is become a 
piece of charcoal. Where are the pupils of the eye ? See, see. 

* Reboti says, My daughter, what is it that gives you so much pain ? The 
bed is all over cleared, there is nothing that can trouble the body. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 91 

Sadhu. Khetromani ! Khetromani ! Open your eyes fully 
my daughter. 

Khetro. My mother ! my father ! Ah, it is an axe ! 
(Turns on the other side}* 

Reboti. Let me take her on my lap ; she will remain 
quiet there. (Comes to take her on tier lap}. 

Sadhu. Do not take her up ; she will faint. 

Reboti. Am I so very unfortunate ! Ah ! Ah ! My 
Harana is as Kartika on his peacoc^f How can I forget 
him ? Dear me ! my Siva ! 

Sf^hu. Raychurn is gone a long time ago ; he is not yet 
come. 

Reboti. Our eldest Babu preserved her from the grasp of 
the tiger. The young Saheb killed my daughter, and the 
elder one killed the eldest Babu. Ah ! Ah ! there is no 
one to preserve the poor. 

Sadhu. What virtuous actions have I done, that I shall 
see the face of my grand-child ? 

Rhetro. My body is cut off a cracked Tangrah (a fish) 
Ah ! ah ! 

Reboti. I think the ninth of the moon is closed \\ my 
image of gold is to go to the water, and what means shall 
I have ? Who shall call me mother ! mother ! Did you 
bring her for this purpose. (Talcing hold of Sadhu' 8 neck, 
weeps). 

Sadhu. Be silent, don't weep now ; she will faint. 



* These are wor<is which are expressed through great grief. 

f Kartika is taken to be the most lovely in appearance among tho gods 
the symbol of male beauty. He in the son of Siva and Doorgah. 

J Here, the reference is to the last of the three days in which the god- 
dess Doorgah is worshipped ; und the last day is taken to be one of great pain, 
because on that day she is to take her departure from her parents to go to 
her husband Siva. 



92 NIL DARPAN, OR 

Enter RAYCHURN and the Physician. 

Physician. How is she now ? Did you give her that 
medicine ? 

Sadhu. The medicine did not act, and whatever went 
down immediately came up by a vomit. See her pulse once 
more now ; I think, it is a sign of her end. 

Reboti. She is crying out, thorns, thorns. I have prepared 
her bed so thickly,* still she is tossing about. Now save 
her by a good medicine. Dear Sir, this relative is very 
dear unto me. 

Sadhu. We don't see any sign of the pulse. C 

Physician. (Talcing hold of tJie hand). In this state, 
it is good for the pulse to be weak. " Weakness makes the 
pulse strong ; to have a strong pulse is fatal." 

Sadhu. A.t this time, it is the same thing either to 
apply or not to apply the medicine. The parents have hope 
to the very end ; therefore, see, if there be any means. 

Physician. The water with which the Atapa (dried rice) 
is washed, is now necessary. The application of the Shuchi- 
kavaran (a medicine) is required. 

Sadhu. That Atapa which the Barah Ranee sent for 
offerings of prayer is in the other room. Raychurn, bring 
that here. 

(Exit Raychurn.) 

Reboti. Is Annapurnah -f- now awake, that she shall with 
the rice in her hands come to me my Khetromani ? It is 
through my ill-fate that our mistress is become mad. 

Physician. She is already full of sorrow for the death 
of her husband ; again, her son is on the point of death ; her 



* Thickly prepared signifies many coverings of the bed placed one above 
another. 

t It is one of the names of Doorgah. The term signifies " full of rice," 
or the Goddess of Plenty. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 93 

insanity is on the increase. I think she shall die before 
Nobin ; she is become very weak. 

Sadhu. Sir, how did you find our eldest Babu, to-day ? 
I think, with his pure blood he has extinguished the fire of 
tyranny of the giants, the Indigo Planters. It is probable, 
that the Indigo Commission might produce to the ryots 
some advantages ; but what effect has that ? If one hundred 
serpents do bite at once my whole body I can bear that ; 
if on a hearth made of bricks, a fiypan be placed full of 
molasses, and the same be boiling by a great fire, I can also 
berj^ the torments, if by accident I fall into the pan ; if in the 
dark night of the new-moon a band of robbers with terrible 
sounds come upon and kill my only son who is honest and 
very learned, take away all the acquisitions made during the 
past seven generations, and then make me blind : all these 
also, I can bear ; and in the place of one, even if there be 
ten Indigo Factories in the village, that also I can allow ; 
but to be separated even for a moment from that elder Babu 
who is so much the supporter of his dependants, that can I 
never bear. 

Physician. The blow through which the brain has oozed 
out is fatal. I have found the pulse indicate that death is 
near ; either at mid-day or in the evening, life will depart. 
Bipin gave a little water of the Ganges in his mouth, but it 
came out by its sides. Nobin's wife is quite distracted ; but 
she is trying her utmost for his safety. 

Sadhu. Ah ! Ah ! Had our mistress not been insane, her 
heart would have been burst asunder on seeing this. The 
doctor has also said, that the bruise on the head is fatal. 

Physician. The doctor is a very kind-hearted man : when 
Babu Bindu wanted to give him money, he said, " Babu 
Bindu, the manner in which you are already troubled makes 
it improbable that the ceremony of your father will be per- 
formed. I cannot take any thing from you now, and also it 



94 NIL DARPAN, OR 

is not necessary for you to give money for the bearers who 
brought me and who will now take me away." Had the 
doctor been of a hard heart, he would have taken away the 
money kept for the ceremony. I have seen that kind of 
doctors twice ; he is as scurrilous as avaricious. 

Sadhu. Our young Babu brought alorg with him the 
doctor to see Khetromani ; but he said nothing with cer- 
tainty. The doctor observing my want, owing to the tyranny 
of the Planters, gave t me two rupees in the name of 
Khetromani. 

Physician. Had the doctor been hard-hearted ^he 
would have taken hold of the hand, and said, she would 
die ; and he would have taken the money by selling 
your kine. 

Reboti. I can give money by selling off whatever I have, 
if they can only cure my Khetro. 

Enter RAYCHURN with the rice. 

Physician. Having washed the rice, bring the water here. 
(Reboti takes the rice}. Do not give much water. I see the 
plate is very beautiful. 

Reboti. Our mistress (Sabitri) went to Gya and brought 
many plates ; and she gave this to my Khetro. Ah ! the 
same mistress is now turned mad, and her hands are bound 
with a rope, because she is slapping her cheeks. 

Physician. Sadhu, bring the stone-mortar, I have the 
medicine here. (Opens his box of medicine.) 

Sadhu. Sir, don't bring out your medicine ; just see, how 
her eyes appear. Raychurn, come here. 

Reboti. Oh mother ! What is my fate now ! Oh mother, 
how shall I forget the figure of Harana ! Oh ! Oh ! Oh Khetro, 
Oh Khetro ! Khetromoni ! daughter. Wilt thou not speak 
any more, ray daughter ? Oh ! Oh ! Oh ! (Weeps). 

Physician. Her end is very near. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 95 

Sadhu Raychurn take hold of her, take hold of her 
(Sadhuchurn and Raychurn take Khetramoni from the. 
bed, and go out-side}. 

Rehoti. I cannot leave my Laksmi of gold to float on 
the water. Where shall I go ? Had she lived with the Saheb, 
that would have been better. I would have remained at rest 
by seeing her face. My daughter, ho ! ho ! ho ! (Goes behind 
Khetra, slapping herself). 

Physician. I die! I die! I die! What pains does the 
mother bear ! It is good not to have a child. 

(Exit all) 



FIFTH ACT FOUETH SCENE. 
THE HALL IN THE HOUSE OF GOLUK CHUNDER BASIL 

Sabitri sitting with the dead body of Nobin on her lap. 
Sabitri. Let my dear child sleep ; my dear keeps my heart 
at rest. When I see the sweet face, I remember that other 
face* (kisses). My child is sleeping most soundly (rubs the 
hand over the head of the cm*pse). Ah ! what have the mus- 
quitoes done ? What shall I do for the heat ? I must not lie 
down without letting the curtains fall (rubs the hand on the 
breast of the body} Ah ! Can the mother suffer this, to see the 
bugs bite the child and let drops of blood come out. No one is 
here to prepare the bed of th child ; how shall I let it lie 
down. I have no one for me ; but all are gone with my 
husband. (Weeps). Oh unfortunate creature that I am ! 
I am crying with my child here (observing the face of 
Nobin}. The child of the sorrowful woman is now making 
deala-\- (kissing the mouth). No, my dear, I have forgotten 

* The face of her husband. 

f It sometimes happens, that during sleep the child either cries or 
laughs ; that is called, the Dealn of the child. 



96 NIL DARPAN, OR 

all distress in seeing thee ; I am not weeping (placing the 
pap on its mouth] ; my dear, suckle the pap, my dear, suckle 
it ; I entreated the bad woman so much, even fell at her feet, 
still she did not bring my husband for once ; he would have 
gone after settling about the milk of the child. This stupid 
person has such a friendship with Yama, that if she had written 
a letter, he would have immediately given him leave (seeing 
the rope in her hand}. The husband never gets salvation 
if on his death the widow still wears ornaments ; although 
I wept with such loucl cries, still they made me wear the 
shanka.* I have burnt it by the lamp, still it is in my 
hands (cuts off the rope with her teeth}. For a widow to wear 
ornaments it does not look good and is not tolerable. On my 
hands there has arisen a blister (cries}. Whoever has 
stopped my wearing the shanka, let her shanka be taken 
off within three days-f- (snaps the joints of her fingers on the 
ground}. Let me prepare the bed myself (prepares the bed in 
fancy} The mat was not washed (extends her hands a 
little}. I can't reach to the pillow ; the coat of shreds is become 
dirty, (rubs the floor with her hands}. Let me make the 
child lie down (placing the dead body slowly on the ground.) 
My son, what fear near a mother ? You lie down peacefully. 
I shall spit here (spits on its breast}. If that Englishman's 
lady come here this day, I shall kill her by pressing down her 
neck. I shall never have my child out of my sight. Let me 
place the bow round it (gives a mark with her finger round 
the floor, ^ukile reading a certain verse as a sacred formula 
read to a God}. " The froth of the serpent, the tiger's nose, 
the fire prepared by the Sala'sJ resin, the whistling of the 



* An ornament made of shell for the wrists of women, 
f That is, let her become a widow within three days, who has made 
me so. 

J The Sala is the native name of the tree Shores rolusta. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIHROR. 97 

swinging machine, the white hairs of seven co-wives* 
bhanti f leaves, the flowers of the dhuturd, the seeds of the 
Indigo, the burnt pepper, the head of the corpse, the root of 
the maddar, the mad dog, the thief's reading of the Chundi ; 
these together make the arrow to be directed against the 
gnashing teeth of Yama." 

Enter SARALOTA. 

Saralota. Where are these gone to ? Ah ! she is turning 
round the dead body. I think, my husband, tired with 
excessive travelling, has given himself up to Sleep, that 
goddess who is the destroyer of all sorrows and pains. Oh 
Sleep ! how very miraculous is thy greatness, thou makest 
the widow to be with her husband in this world, thou bringest 
the traveller to his country ; at thy touch, the prisoner's 
chain breaks ; thou art the Dhannantari j of the sick ; thou 
hast no distinction of castes in thy dominions ; and thy laws 
are never different on account of the difference of nations or 
castes ; thou must have made my husband a subject of thy 
impartial power ; or else, how is it, that the insane mother 
brings away the dead son from him. My husband is become 
quite distracted by being deprived of his father and his bro- 
ther. The beauty of his countenance has faded by and by, 
as the full-moon decreases day by day. My mother, when 
hast thou come up ? I have left off food and sleep, and am 
looking after thee continually ; and did I fall into so much 
insensibility ; I promised, that I shall bring thy husband from 
Yama, (Invisible) in order to cure thee, and therefore thou 
remainedest quiet for sometime. In this formidable night, so 
full of darkness, like unto that which shall take place on the 
destruction of the Universe ; when the skies are spread over 
with the terrors of the clouds, the flashes of lightning are 

* The wives of the same husband, 
t Volkmeria odorata. 

J Dhannnntari is the Physician of the Gods. 

O 



98 NIL DARPAN, OR 

giving a momentary light, like the arrows of fire, and the 
race of living creatures are given up, as it were, to the sleep 
of Death ; all are silent ; when the only sound is the cry of 
jackals in the wilderness and the loud noise of the dogs, the 
great band of enemies to thieves. My mother, how is it 
possible, that in such a night as this thou wast able to bring 
thy dead son from out-side the house. (Goes near the corpse). 

Sabitri. I have placed the circle ; and why do you come 
within it ? 

Saralota. Ah ! my husband can never be able to live on 
seeing the death of this his land-conquering and most 4k,' ar 
brother. (Weeps). 

Sabitri. You are envying my child ; you all-destroying 
wretch, the daughter of a wretch ! Let your husband die. 
Go out, just now ; be out ; or else, I shall place my foot on 
your throat, take out your tongue and kill you immediately. 

Saralota. Ah ! such Shoranau* (six-mouthed) of gold, 
whom our father-in-law and mother-in-law had, is now gone 
into the water. 

Sabitri. Don't look on my child ; I forbid you you 
destroyer of your husband. I see, your death is very near. 
(Goes a little towards her). 

Saralota. Ah ! how very cruel are the formidable arms of 
Death ? Ah Yama ! you gave so much pain to my honest 
mother-in-law; 

Sabitri. Calling again ! Calling again ! (takes hold of Sa- 
ralota's neck by her two hands and throws her doiun on the 
ground). Thou stupid, beloved of Yama. Now will I 
kill thee (stands upon her neck). Thou hast devoured my 



* Slioranan is one of the names of Kartikeya. In this phice, it refers to 
Nobin Madhab, oil account of the great honor which he had acquired from 
the people of the country ; and he is compared with Kartikeya, because lie 
liad much honour among the gods. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 99 

husband ; again, thou art calling your paramour to swallow 
my dear infant. Die, die, die, die now. (Begins to skip upon 
the neck.) 

Saralota. Gah, a, a, (death of Saralota.) 

Enter BINDU MADHAB. 

Bindu. Oh ! She is lying flat here. Oh mother, what is 
that ? Thou hast killed my Saralota (taking hold of Saralo- 
ta 's head). My dear Sarala has left this sinful world. (After 
weeping, kisses Saralota.) 

J^abitri. Gnaw the wretch and destroy her. She was call- 
ing Yama to^devour my iofaiit ; and therefore I killed her. 
(Standing on her neck). 

Bindu. As the mother, having destroyed the child whom 
she was fondling for making it sleep on her lap, on awaking 
will go to destroy herself, so wilt thou, Oh my mother ! go to 
kill thyself, if thine insanity passing off thou can'st under- 
stand, that thy most beloved Saralota was murdered by 
thee. It will be good if that lamp no more give its light to 
t-hee. Ah ! how very pleasant it is for a woman to be mad, 
who has lost her husband and son ! The deer-like mind be- 
ing enclosed within the stone walls of madness can never be 
attacked by the great tiger Sorrow. I am thy Bindu 
M^adhab. 

Sabitri. What, what do you say ? 

Bindu. Mother, I can no longer keep my life, becoming 
mad by the death of my father bound by the rope, and the 
death of my elder brother ; thou hast destroyed my Saralota, 
and thus hast applied salt to my wounded heart. 

Sabitri. W T hat ! Is my Nobin dead ! Is my Nobin dead ! 
Ah, my dear son, my dear Bindu Madhab ! Have I killed 
your Saralota ? Have I killed my young Bou by becoming mad 
(embracing the dead body of Saralota). I would have re- 
mained alive, although deprived of my husband and my son. 



300 NIL DARPAN, OR 

Ah, but on murdering you by my own hands, my heart is on 
the point of being burnt. Ho ! Ho ! Mother, (embracing 
Saralota, she falls down dead on the ground). 

Bindu. (Placing his hand on Sabitri's body) What 
I said, took place actually. My mother died on recovering 
her understanding. What affliction ! My mother will no more 
take me on her lap, and kiss me. Oh mother ! the word 
mama will no more come out of my mouth, (weeps). Let me 
place the dust of her feet on my head (takes the dust from 
her feet and places that on his own head). Let me also 
purify my body by eating that dust. (Eats the dus^ } of 
her feet"). 

Enter SOJRINDRI. 

Soirindri. I am going to die with my husband ; do not 
oppose me, my brother-in-law ? My Bipin shall live happily 
with Saralota. What's this, what's this ? Why are our 
mother-in-law and bou both lying in this manner ? 

Bindu. Oh eldest Bou ! our mother first killed Saralota, 
then getting her understanding again, she fell into such ex- 
cess of sorrow, that she also died. 

Soirindri. Now ! In what manner ? What loss ! What 
is this ! What is this ! Ah ! Ah ! my sister, thou hast not yet 
worn that most pleasant lock of hair on the head which . I 
prepared for thee ! Ah ! ah ! thou shalt no more call me, sister 
(cries). Mother-in-law, thou art gone to your Rama, but 
did'st not let me go there. Oh my mother-in-law, when I 
got thee, I did not for a moment remember my mother. 

Enter ADURI. 

Aduri. Oh eldest Haldarni, come soon ; thy young Bipin 
is afraid. 

Soirindri. Why did you not call me thence ? You left 
him there alone. (Goes out hastily with Aduri}. 



INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR. 101 

Bindu. My Bipin is now the pole-star in the ocean of 
dangers ! (with a deep sigh). In this world of short existence, 
human life is as the bank of a river which has a most violent 
course and the greatest depth. How very beautiful are the 
banks, the fields covered over with new grass, most plea- 
sant to the view, the trees full of branches newly coining out ; 
in some places the cottages of fishermen ; in others the 
kine feeding with their young ones. To walk about in such 
a place enjoying the sweet songs of th^ beautiful birds, and 
the charming gale full of the sweet smell of flowers, only 
WK>~^ the mind in the contemplation of that Being who is 
full of pleasure. Accidentally, a hole small as a line is observed 
in the field, and immediately that most pleasant bank falls 
down into the stream. How very sorrowful ! The Bose family 
of Svaropur is destroyed by Indigo, the great destroyer of 
honour. How very terrible are the arms of Indigo ! 

The cobra de capello, like the Indigo Planters, with 
mouths full of poison, threw all happiness into the flame of 
fire. The father, through injustice, died in the prison ; the 
elder brother in the Indigo-field, and the mother, being insane 
through grief for her husband and son, murdered with her 
own hands a most honest woman. Getting her understand- 
ing again, and observing my sorrow, the ocean of grief again 
swelled in her. With that disease of sorrow came the poison 
of want ; and thus without attending to consolation, she also 
departed this life. Incessantly do I call, Where is my father ? 
Where is my father ? Embrace me once more with a smiling 
face. Crying out, Oh mother ! Oh mother ! I look on all sides ; 
but that countenance of joy do I find no where. When I used 
to call, Mama, she immediately took me on her breast, and rub- 
bed my mouth. Who knows the greatness of maternal affec- 
tion ? The cry of mama, mama, mama, mama do I make in 
the battle-field and the wilderness whenever fear arises in 
the mind. Oh my brother, dear unto the heart, in the place 



102 NIL DARPAN. 

of whom there is not one, as a friend in this world ! Thy Bindu 
Madhab is come ! open thine eyes once more and see. Ah ! 
ah ! it bursts my heart, not to know where my heart's Sarala 
is gone to. The most beautiful, wise, and entirely devoted to 
me ; she walked as the swan,* and her eyes were handsome as 
those of the deer. With a smiling face and with the sweetest 
voice, thou didst read to me the Betal. The mind was 
charmed by thy sweet reading which was as the singing of 
the bird in the forest. Thou, Sarala, hadst a most beauteous 
face, and didst brighten the lake of my heart. Who did 
take away my lotus with a cruel heart ? The beautiful Jake 
became dark. The world I. look upon is as a desert full of 
corpses ; while I have lost my father, my mother, my brother, 
and my wife. 

Ah ! where are they gone to in search of the dead body 
of my brother ? I am to prepare for going to the Gauges as 
soon as they come. Ah \ how very terrible, the last scene of 
the drama of the lion-like Nobin Madhab is ? (Sits down, 
taking hold of Sabitris feefy 

[The curtain falls down. 



* The gait of the swan is considered in this country the most beautiful 
model of the motion of the feet. 



FINIS. 



Calcutta Printing and Publishing Press, No. 10, AYcston's Lane. 



from which It was borrowed. 



Hill Hill Hill 
A 000026036 4 



Univen 

Soul 

Lit